Alumni Reunion weekend: embracing tradition, celebrating innovation

Returning alumni will have a chance to 'return, rewind, refresh and rekindle."

UC Santa Cruz hosts Alumni Reunion Weekend Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, April 27-29, 2012.

With a full weekend schedule of events, UCSC grads will have many opportunities to reminisce at the Natural History Field Quarter 40th Reunion, a Black Alumni Alumni Reunion, an Oakes College’s 40th Anniversary brunch, a Cowell College reunion and the UCSC Class of 2002’s 10-year Reunion.

In its 47 years, UCSC has grown an alumni base of over 80,000 graduates who have made their marks in industries as diverse as entertainment, law, politics, and medical robotics.

UCSC is also a relatively young institution with a robustly youthful alumni base. An estimated 50 percent of UCSC’s total alumni graduated since 1997. This embracing of tradition and history of innovation will be reflected in series of far-ranging events.

A few examples: Friday, April 27, from 7:30 to 9 p.m., senior lecturer emeritus in writing Don Rothman and Oakes College founding Provost and Emeritus Professor J. Herman Blake will discuss the transformative nature of education at UC Santa Cruz during different social, political and economic moments in history.

The Academic Forum, on Saturday, April 28, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Humanities Lecture Hall will feature the teaching secrets of renowned social psychologist Elliot Aronson, who taught at UCSC from 1974 to 1994, Bettina Aptheker, a noted professor in the Feminist Studies department, assistant professor in computer engineering Gabriel Elkhaim, who teaches the highly popular "Introduction to Mechatronics" course, and other noted educators and researchers.

UCSC grads, on Saturday, April 28, will have a chance to dine like old times at the “green” Cowell College dining hall and patio from noon to 2 p.m. It may seem like a trip to the past, until alumni look around and notice how much things have changed, with green-certified construction materials and compostable bags waiting to be filled with table-scraps. They will also take in performances from student groups, and have chances to reconnect with their colleges.

Returning alumni can also learn the mysteries of origami at a special exhibition, explore the beautifully renovated McHenry Library, which will be rededicated on Friday, April 27, and take advantage of many other special events planned for different groups. Complete information and a schedule of activities can be found at UCSC's 2012 Alumni Reunion web site.