Normal School Becomes Southern Branch of University of California May 23, 1919 In May of 1919, the State Normal School officially became the Southern Branch of the University of California In 1917, Ernest C. Moore, the Harvard transplant and new Normal School Director, proposed that it become the first branch of the Berkeley-based University of California. On May 23, 1919, the Governor signed the necessary legislation. That year the “Southern Branch” offered a two-year program in undergraduate instruction to 250 Letters and Science students and 1,125 future teachers in the Teachers College, which remained under Moore’s continued direction. This first page of the 1919-1920 calendar appeared in the first edition of the University’s annual yearbook. Only a few weeks old, the Southern Branch of the University already has a football team, Phi Kappa Kappa Honors society and a Halloween Prom! Cloyd H. Marvin, then a Dean at the Southern Branch of the University of California pays tribute to its first year.