On May 13 UCLA will celebrate the inauguration of Chancellor Gene Block — only the second chancellorial inauguration in 40 years — in true Bruin style, with a week of activities for faculty, staff, students and alumni. The traditional pomp and circumstance of the occasion will be downplayed in favor of a more festive, global atmosphere.
First up is a May 12 barbecue and concert in Wilson Plaza for staff, faculty, students and a few invited guests. There will be hamburgers, veggie burgers and hot dogs to enjoy as guests take in live music and dance performances by student groups showcasing the diverse campus community.
Shortly before 10 a.m. on May 13, a colorful procession of more than 200 dignitaries — including Chancellor Block and selected UCLA faculty, deans and vice chancellors; UC regents; representatives from other campuses within the UC and California State University systems and across the country; and donors of endowed faculty chairs — will march to Royce Hall, signaling the beginning of the inauguration ceremony.
Once inside Royce Hall, Chancellor Block will be welcomed by representatives from several different campus and community organizations. Basketball legend and UCLA alumnus Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will deliver brief keynote remarks. UC President Robert Dynes will perform the ceremony of installation, followed by an inaugural address by Chancellor Block.
Throughout the ceremony, audience members will be treated to performances by carilloneur Christoph Bull, student soloist Rebecca Sjöwall and student groups from the Herb Alpert School of Music — including the UCLA Wind Ensemble, the UCLA Trumpet Ensemble and the UCLA Contemporary Jazz Large Ensemble — as well as by some of UCLA's student groups: the Music of African-Americans Ensemble, Mariachi de Uclatlán, the Chinese Music Ensemble, BatUCLAda (Brazilian Music Ensemble), and the Balinese Gamelan.
Since space is limited, a portion of the available tickets to attend the inauguration has been reserved for faculty, staff and students and can be picked up at the Central Ticket Office beginning May 5.
Inauguration Week will conclude with UCLA Day on Saturday, May 17, when all UCLA alumni are invited to campus for special activities. Bruins may attend a variety of lectures given by UCLA faculty and choose from among five tours of campus.
Affinity group receptions throughout the campus will be followed by a Bruin BBQ with remarks by Chancellor Block. There will also be a party for recent UCLA graduates (classes of 1998-2007) from 8-11 p.m.
In keeping with the day's theme — "It's Your Day. Your Moment" — alumni guests will be invited to record their special UCLA memories on video to be preserved and archived.
The historic week is intended to give everyone who participates something worth remembering.
Adapted from a story in UCLA Today by Wendy Soderburg