Merritt College, established in 1954, is one of the four colleges of the Peralta Community College District in Alameda County. On a 125-acre site in the hills of East Oakland, the college combines modern, spacious facilities with a spectacular view of the entire Bay Area.
Merritt also offers opportunities for intellectual and cultural growth at the Fruitvale Education Center in Oakland. It also offers a comprehensive day and evening program of transfer, technical, occupational and basic skills education and is committed to meeting the educational needs of the diverse student population it serves.
Merritt College is named for one of the pioneer developers of Oakland, Dr. Samuel Merritt. Dr. Merritt first came to Oakland, then referred to as the "Contra Costa," in 1850. When he arrived at the foot of Broadway, currently in downtown Oakland, as a picnicker on an open boat, the Kangaroo, he was so impressed with the tranquility of the scene, the natural beauty of the location, and the possibility of development of this "land of the oaks" that he acquired the property.
He was so successful in real estate and the lumber business in Oakland that he never practiced medicine while a resident of the city. Dr. Merritt died in 1890 at his home near the lake named for him.