Alumni Weekend: Raising a glass to Chancellor Blumenthal

This year’s Beer and Wine Reception at Alumni Weekend will cap a busy Saturday full of enriching events, and also offer a toast to Chancellor George Blumenthal, who is retiring after 13 years in the top job

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The Alumni Weekend beer and wine reception will include a time to honor retiring Chancellor George Blumenthal. In this photo, he is visiting with former staff and faculty at a UC Santa Cruz Retirees Association event. Photo by Guy Lasnier (Merrill ’78)

The wine and craft beer reception is one of the beloved highlights of UC Santa Cruz’s annual Alumni Weekend celebration. It is a time to schmooze, reminiscence, and wind down from a busy day.

But this year’s edition, scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at the Quarry Amphitheater, will include another element.

It will end on a poignant note, with members of the UC Santa Cruz community taking a moment to honor Chancellor George Blumenthal, who is retiring and stepping down from his post after what will have been 13 years as the top administrator at UC Santa Cruz. Blumenthal has worked at UC Santa Cruz since 1972, starting as a faculty member in astronomy and astrophysics.

Michael Riepe (Oakes ’91, computer engineering), president of the UC Santa Cruz Alumni Council, is one of the speakers who will honor Blumenthal.

“I will certainly miss George after he retires,” Riepe said.  “He has always been extremely generous with his time, attending many Alumni Council meetings, and making an effort to get to know each of us.  He views alumni as true partners of the university.” He also praised Blumenthal as “an extremely accomplished listener.”

The recently refurbished Quarry Amphitheater is a fitting place to honor Blumenthal, considering that the campus’s first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, which raised $335 million, was one of his highest priorities; the renovation of the previously shuttered amphitheater was one of the fundraiser’s key initiatives, which also included the rebuilt Hay Barn near the main entrance, new academic programs and scholarships for students, research and teaching support for faculty, new cultural programs and archives, and deeper engagement with the campus’s alumni and surrounding community.

 Attendants are strongly encouraged to register for this event in advance.