Creating Extraordinary Outcomes for the Colleges and Universities of the Future

Today's colleges and universities are faced with many challenges: student retention, faculty recruitment, and the integration of new technologies. At RATCLIFF, we collaborate with our clients to reframe these challenges in new and inspiring ways. From the 1921 master plan for Mills College to today's design of the first California community college campus constructed on an urban infill site, RATCLIFF continues its legacy of enduring, distinguished architecture. Our architects interact with higher education institutions at critical junctures in their histories, helping them in their quests to create the whole citizen.

RATCLIFF crafts the links between buildings that foster creative scholastic environments. Our flexible learning environments are relevant to a diverse student population today and for generations to come. We design teaching and research laboratories, lecture halls and classrooms, specialized academic libraries, recital halls and rehearsal rooms, gymnasiums and recreational facilities, and student residential communities.


  • Programming
  • Master Planning & Design 
  • Architecture 
  • Interiors 


William Blessing
Patricia Alarcón
Mike Matson

William Blessing, LEED AP

Principal, Project Designer

Graduate Studies in Architecture, University of California, Berkeley, 1983

B.S. Architecture, magna cum laude, Lawrence Institute of Technology, 1978
Registered Architect, California, #C-16988, 1986

(510) 899-6440

Patricia Alarcón , AIA

Associate Principal

M. Architecture, University of California, Berkeley, 1994
B.A. Architecture, Washington University, St. Louis, 1990

Licensed Architect, California #C-27440, 1998

(510) 899-6445

Mike Matson, LEED AP

Principal, Technical

B. Architecture, University of California, Berkeley, 1989

Licensed Architect, California #C25627, 1995

(510) 899-6431

Client List

  • California State University East Bay
  • California State University Humboldt
  • California State University San Jose
  • Church Divinity School of the Pacific
  • Contra Costa Community College District
  • Foothill-De Anza Community College District
  • Golden Gate University
  • Hartnell Community College
  • Holy Names College
  • Mills College
  • Monterey Peninsula College
  • Naval Post Graduate School
  • Notre Dame de Namur University
  • Pacific School of Religion
  • Peralta Community College District: Berkeley City College
  • Peralta Community College District: Laney College
  • Saint Marys College of California
  • Saint Patricks Seminary
  • Samuel Merritt University
  • Santa Clara University
  • Stanford University
  • UC Hastings College of the Law
  • University of California Berkeley
  • University of California Davis
  • University of California Irvine
  • University of California Riverside
  • University of California San Diego
  • University of California San Francisco
  • University of California Santa Barbara
  • University of California Santa Cruz
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Texas Houston
  • University of the Pacific Dental School San Francisco Campus
  • University of the Pacific Stockton Campus
  • US Navy
  • USDA