Alumni Weekend re-envisioned

Introducing a modernized and reimagined campus experience for UC Santa Cruz alums

Alumni Weekend will take on a new look in 2023. 

A decades-long tradition, Alumni Weekend was created to welcome alumni back to UC Santa Cruz to reconnect with peers, Santa Cruz, and the campus community. The week-long series of events typically consisted of campus tours, reunions, lectures, and celebrations.

This year, the traditional program will be transformed into two separate weekend events in the spring and summertime. In April, UCSC will host Alumni Reunion Weekend celebrating alumni who graduated 50+ years ago. Then, in August, the University will offer “Return to the Redwoods,” a first-of-its-kind residential campus experience where alumni will be able to stay overnight in the residence halls.

With a modernized and re-envisioned program, organizers aim to provide a more meaningful way for alumni to engage.

“This change has been a long time coming,” says Assistant Vice Chancellor of Alumni Engagement John Pine. “Alumni Weekend, in its previous iteration, has been successful in welcoming back a portion of our alumni. However, with this reimagined version of Alumni Weekend, we really listened to what alumni have been asking for.” 

Pine emphasizes that an overwhelming number of alumni identify with the extraordinary landscape of UC Santa Cruz over any other factor—a statistic unique to UCSC compared with other universities nationwide. 

2023 Alumni Reunion Weekend programming includes celebrations for the 50th reunion classes of 1973 and below, lectures and lifelong learning opportunities, and programs to engage with academic leadership and current students. 

Alumni Reunion Weekend

Alumni Reunion Weekend will be held from April 13-15, with a virtual kick-off event for the class of 1973 on Thursday evening. 

Reunion weekend will include a 50+ reunion celebration, unique college-specific programming, open houses with College Provosts, campus tours and outdoor walks, and opportunities for continuing education. 

Simultaneously, Banana Slug Day—held on April 15—will welcome newly admitted students to the UCSC campus giving alumni and prospective students the opportunity to interact. 

“In past years, 50th reunions have been spearheaded by our amazing alumni volunteers with the support of the UCSC alumni engagement team,” says Executive Director of Alumni Engagement Shayna Kent. “Beginning in 2023, our focus on organizing and celebrating 50+ Reunion Classes is an opportunity to honor our history and celebrate an important milestone for our alumni.” 

Return to the Redwoods 

Return to the Redwoods will welcome alumni back to campus for a full weekend of celebration, Santa Cruz exploration, and outdoor adventures from August 18-20, 2023. 

For the first time, alumni will have the opportunity to spend the weekend on campus in either a traditional dorm setting, a full apartment, or find nearby accommodations. 

The weekend will include outdoor adventure activities such as campus hikes, kayak tours, mountain biking, surf lessons, interactive campus experiences and more. In addition, open houses across campus and divisions will be held, as well as evening activities in the Quarry Amphitheatre. 

“Return to the Redwoods is a program unlike any other,” Pine says. “This exciting and innovative event encourages alumni to reconnect with the physical UC Santa Cruz campus and invites them to relive their college experience for a weekend with friends and family. All alumni and their guests (children, friends, etc.) are welcome to come spend a weekend in the redwoods.” 

Registration for Alumni Reunion Weekend & Return to the Redwoods is scheduled to open in February. 

Stay tuned for more details on the 2023 Reunion Weekend and Return to the Redwoods. 


If you are interested in volunteering for Alumni Weekend events, contact Shayna Kent

Email with any questions.