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History of Heald College

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There are so many beginnings that started in 1863 that carry on today. I always marvel at old photographs of cities and buildings and try to image someone in the days of old as I look at the modern day evolution it has become. San Francisco of 1863 was a boisterous city of more than 100,000 and still giddy from the Gold Rush, full of infinite optimism and enthusiasm and where men had the chance to live the good life if he was willing to work hard. In 1963 the Cliff House Restaurant opened their doors on a location made of solid rock with what is now a billion dollar view. Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) arrived in San Francisco and would soon be recognized as a brilliant writer of "literature of a low order" (satirist and humorous commenter).

In addition, what is now the oldest business career college in the western United States embarked on a new venture that sculptured and continues to produce some of the most important business leaders of the time who, because of their education opened business's that changed the world and or people's lives. Heald College sits on an esteemed podium of professional success shared by only a select few.

Heald's College robust history.

At the youthful age of 20, Edward Payson Heald traveled across the United States to open the first Heald College in San Francisco, California on August 8, 1863. He built a vocational business preparation foundation when California was still but a child. California had only been admitted into the Union 13 years earlier when he confidently created a place to prepare students for academic, personal, and professional success through quality career focused programs.

Ever diligent to his comment to education, Heald College endured the 1906 earthquake that was followed by 500 city blocks of fire damage and than two world wars. While many San Francisco's were considering their next life move, Heald College's Stockton, California campus began as a business college in 1906. This is the same location where Dr. Charles David Herrold, and his students constructed a high-speed turbine and generator (advanced cutting edge technology back than), and laid foundations in radio telephony.

143 years later, Heald College continues to stay true to its original mission in preparing students for a life time of successful business career practice. As the needs of corporations and business practice changed, the Heald College curriculum evolved from mere business modules to competitive degrees in business, technology and healthcare. Across California, Hawaii, and Oregon, Heald College offers Associate in Applied Science degrees, Associate of Arts degrees, diplomas, and certificates in 34 different industries. Unlike community college students who may take up to three years to receive an Associate's degree, Heald College students on average earn theirs in 18 months.

Heald College has always been a pioneer in professional higher education and proved their dedication to higher learning by becoming a nonprofit organization in 1977. By becoming a nonprofit organization Heald College set in motion the means to continually reinvest in the College, ensuring the most up-to-date services and facilities for their students.

Students and employers trust Heald College as a trustworthy and reliable educational institution. Kaiser Permanente, Wells Fargo, Intel Corporation and American Red Cross are among the corporations that have hired Heald College graduates.

Alumni include gifted business leaders, such as

A.P. Giannini, founder of Bank of America and was the first banker to offer credit to businesses and individuals in need of money to rebuild their lives after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and speed up the city's redevelopment.

"Trader Vic" Bergeron, famous restaurateur - launched the tiki-tacky Polynesian concept in the Bay area in 1936 and is (not confirmed) the original creator of the drink Mai Tai. He gave to a friend a shaken drink, who drank it and proclaimed in Tahitian, Mai tai roa ae, meaning, "out of this world, the best."

Other famous alumni are

  • U.S. State Senator; George Christopher
  • M.H. de Young, Gold Gate museum founder
  • Hiram Johnson, former California Governor

These incredibly successful leaders of their profession are among the hundreds of thousands of successful graduates who have assumed rewarding careers as a result of a Heald education.


  1. "If only . . ."

    I started to 'google' for my former alma mater to get the Van Ness St. address, and discovered that Heald College has grown just about beyond recognition to my year at the Van Ness location, just before I joined the navy, and ended up in-country Vietnam, in 1967.

    Had I continued my electronics degree at Heald, how very different my past, and present would have turned out!

    Finding that Van Ness address is still eluding my Internet search, but it sure is good to have a spot to put my good vibes for Heald up!

    Thank you!

    If any happen to read this and want to share that Van Ness address for Heald Business and Engineering College, circa 1965, try cra-dot-1-dot-rmstrong-at-gmail-dot-com It will be much appreciated!

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