Alumni Weekend: Bigger and better than ever

At this charmed moment of springtime in our 50th anniversary year, we are looking forward to an outstanding Alumni Weekend.

Organizers at colleges, departments, affinity groups, and the alumni anniversary planning committee have put together the most elaborate Alumni Weekend ever, with more than 70 activities; it all begins this Thursday evening, April 23. We are gratified by the response and anticipate a record-setting turnout.

New this year, UC Santa Cruz is a sponsor of TEDx SantaCruz’s live event at the Rio Theatre on Friday, April 24. With the theme “Radical Collaboration,” you will hear a phenomenal line-up of speakers, including nine of whom are our very own UC Santa Cruz faculty or alumni.  This event sells out every year, so get your tickets now at

Back on campus, the weekend has several featured events, including:

  • The 11th annual Graduate Research Symposium—highlighting the innovative research of graduate students in 38 programs across five academic divisions, and featuring a bench of alumni judges. April 24, 1-4:30 p.m., at McHenry Library.

For a full listing of events and to register, visit the Alumni Weekend website.

You can help us raise UC Santa Cruz’s visibility with friends and through social media.  Now is the time for a final push to invite people back to campus for Alumni Weekend. We encourage you to reach out to former students, colleagues, friends, and neighbors who are alumni to encourage them to join us for the weekend.  Please help us push out information and images on social media throughout this celebratory year using the hashtag  #ucsc50.

As co-chairs of the 50th Anniversary campus coordinating committee that helped develop plans for this year's series of celebratory events, we want to acknowledge and thank the many people across campus who have developed terrific programming for Alumni Weekend.

This weekend follows a series of anniversary events that began with our kick-off "Dress Like It's 1965 Day" in January. The festivities have included two art exhibits, “50 Artists in 5 Decades” and “An Uncommon Place,” as well as events honoring our founders, Page and Eloise Smith and Dean and Jane McHenry. And we’ve hosted several major speakers, including Angela Davis and Anita Hill, as well as the Climate Science conference.

Looking ahead, we have many more events and activities during the rest of the celebration year. Please mark your calendars now for Saturday, September 26, when we will host our annual Founders Celebration on campus, under a tent on the East field.

We will award our Foundation Medal to Alice Waters of Chez Panisse for her groundbreaking work promoting a sustainable planet through community building and farm-to-table eating. The Fiat Lux award will be collectively awarded to pioneer faculty and staff, upon whose broad shoulders we all stand.  A spectacular evening is planned to kick off a month of inspiring speaker events showcasing UC Santa Cruz today and looking toward our next 50 years of innovation and trailblazing.

Please keep up to date throughout the year by visiting the 50th anniversary website. See you this weekend!