UC Santa Cruz invites alumni, community to Alumni Week

Last year, the COVID-19 crisis forced Alumni Week into the virtual realm, with attendants beaming in through their phone or computer screens. 

But the latest edition, from Tuesday, April 19, through Saturday, April 24, is a welcome step toward normalcy.

Alumni Week 2022 will have a unique “hybrid” format—combining virtual and in-person gatherings, with activities ranging from a virtual elephant seal tour to an in-person wildflower walk in the Campus Reserve, a drone-flying demonstration, and a “Merrill Moat Day” extravaganza, an interactive art project that goes back to the college’s early times.

A full list of events is now available online, and attendees may register here. All alumni and the community are warmly invited.

Last year’s online version was a surprise hit, with thousands of Slugs and their loved ones taking part in the festivities.

 This year we wanted to build upon the reach we achieved when we went fully virtual in 2021,” said Diana Hogue, university events coordinator at UCSC. “But we also want to weave in the traditional in-person experience that so many of our alumni have come to love, and so we decided to move forward with a hybrid version.”

This year’s event will start with screens and end with analog experiences. Tuesday through Thursday of Alumni Week will be primarily virtual events, with two University Forums, and a second year of the popular online Banana Slug Trivia Night on Tuesday night. 

The first of those forums will be a virtual panel in which journalists will document the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday night. The talk will feature alumni of UCSC’s prestigious Science Communication Program.

The second forum, “Art at Work in the World,” will delve into art’s boundary-crossing, associative, and connective possibilities in uncertain times of climate crisis and racial inequities. That virtual talk will take place Wednesday night. 

On Friday night, Alumni Week shifts gears into the in-person realm with a major kickoff event at the Museum of Art and History in downtown Santa Cruz. UCSC is partnering with the Institute of the Arts and Sciences, which is opening an exhibition called Strange Weather that will run through August. 

The exhibit brings together works by influential artists from the 20th and 21st centuries that creatively illuminate and reframe the boundaries of bodies and the environment. The in-person event will include remarks by UCSC Chancellor Larive and Arts Dean Celine Parreñas Shimizu. 

The annual Graduate Reearch Symposium will be held on Friday from noon to six, showcasing graduate student research and other work.  

Saturday will continue the in-person fun at UCSC, with events all across campus and beyond, including a climate change conference community festival at the Seymour Center, student-alumni soccer games, a homecoming for the classes of 2020 and 2021, and abundant receptions, reunions, open houses, and more.

The day will culminate in the annual all-alumni reception, which will mark the 30th anniversary of the Alumni Association Scholarship Fund.

The name of the reception is "Cheers to 30 years!" Sunday will round out the weekend with the annual Dizikes Concert and the return of the beloved provost brunches. Expect a blend of beloved old standbys and new surprises in a weeklong celebration whose organizers describe it as “a mixtape of our favorite hits that we’ve made just for you,” said Hogue.