Memoir of Cal Poly’s seventh president digitized

The memoir of Cal Poly’s seventh president, Robert E. Kennedy, titled “Learn by Doing: Memoirs of a University President,” is now available by e-book at the university’s Kennedy Library Special Collections and Archives.

The university library is named for Kennedy, who died in 2010.

The book documents Kennedy’s 39-year career from his arrival at the campus in 1940 as a journalism professor, through his presidency from 1967 to ’79.

“Among Robert Kennedy’s many contributions to Cal Poly are his detailed recollections as an educator and leader,” Cal Poly President Jeff Armstrong said in a statement. “His legacy endures with this new easy access to the online book of his memoirs.”

The book was first published in 2001 for Cal Poly’s centennial. The digitalization allows students interested in Cal Poly’s history to easily access and search through the text, which is no longer in print, but heavily used each quarter.

The direct link to the digital version of the book is available at

A blog post on the topic can be found at

To learn more about Kennedy and Cal Poly history or read the full story, call 756-2305 or send an email to