What: Oct. 4, 2015, marked 50 years since UC Irvine’s first day of classes. In the months and years leading up to the milestone, UCI planned a series of celebratory activities. Beginning September 2011 – 50 months prior to October 2015 – UCI designated monthly a regularly scheduled activity as a “50 to 50” event. These highlighted events exemplify the UCI experience, and, when the event details are reviewed at the conclusion of the anniversary celebration, provide a comprehensive overview of what makes UCI one of the world’s great public research universities. A special signature fete, the Festival of Discovery, was held Oct. 3, 2015, to shine the brightest light possible on UCI, while offering a warm welcome to the Orange County community.
When: The official anniversary celebration began with UCI’s 2014 Commencement festivities in June, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the campus site dedication. President Lyndon B. Johnson provided the keynote address at the 1964 dedication, an event attended by numerous state and UC dignitaries, as well as thousands of community well-wishers. The June 14, 2014, celebration – which took place at Angel Stadium of Anaheim – was highlighted by a keynote address by President Barack Obama. The 50th anniversary celebration continued through the 2015-16 academic year. Academic symposia, the UCI Medal Awards ceremony, Homecoming, Celebrate UCI, Lauds & Laurels and the annual staff appreciation picnic were among the many events that marked the occasion. The two-year celebration concludes with the June 2016 Commencement.
Who: The celebration aimed to touch as wide an audience as possible, with primary focus on the UCI family – alumni, students (and their parents), faculty, staff and community supporters – and the Orange County community (including prospective students and donors). Therefore the planning committee and attendant subcommittees comprised representatives for each of the constituencies. The planners also welcomed your comments and suggestions for how best to mark this milestone.