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April 25, 2005

UCSC alumni celebrate UCSC's 40th anniversary, meet Chancellor Denton

By Louise Donahue

Hundreds of alumni returned to UCSC to reminisce and take part in a whirlwind weekend of celebrations during Banana Slug Spring Fair, April 15-17.

Chancellor Denton chats with local alumnus Gary Green (Kresge '77) at the African American Reunion, which was attended by 80 alumni, faculty, and guests.
Dan Robbins

Photo: Dan Coyro

Alumni Council member Sharif Traylor (Kresge ’85), Professor Emerita of Psychology Melanie Mayer, Thirty-Year Reunion Mistress of Ceremonies Susan Morgenstern (Cowell ’75) and Boston regional leader Beata Panagopoulos (Cowell ’75) enjoy a moment of levity at the panel discussion with four graduates from the Class of ’75.

Photo: Matt Fitt
UCSC’s 40th anniversary and the Banana Slug Spring Fair prompted writer Jennifer McNulty to put out some feelers about alumni who have become a part of the culture and community of the Central Coast. (See story)

Most events—including the All-Alumni Luncheon, the panel discussion featuring Class of 1975 graduates, and the Distinguished Faculty Lecture, took place on Saturday, April 16.

"What a glorious day it was,” said Vice Chancellor of University Relations Ronald P. Suduiko. “You could feel the excitement in the air as we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the campus while introducing Chancellor Denton to alumni and friends from around the country."

Dozens of faculty members joined alumni and friends, students and staff members in the celebration.

An overflow crowd of alumni, faculty, and friends attended the Distinguished Faculty Lecture, "Prisonworld: What 25 Years of Overincarceration Has Done to Prisoners and to the Rest of Us," presented by professor of psychology Craig Haney in the University Center's Bhojwani Dining Room.

Another popular event was the Class of 1975 30-Year Reunion Panel Discussion featuring Philip Brookman, Carol Realini, Laurie Garrett, and Gordon Wiltsie.

Several classes and groups held special celebrations, including Black Escargot, UCSC's African American affinity group, which marked its every-five-year reunion with a mentor circle featuring current students; a dinner and dance; and an alumni, faculty, and staff reception.

Visiting reunion classes once again proved generous to their old school, raising $1.7 million for student support and other campus projects.

There was a bittersweet note on Saturday as 120 family members, friends, and colleagues of the late Eric Thomas, former president of the UCSC Alumni Association, attended the dedication of a memorial bench in his honor.

The bench is just above the soccer field behind the Oakes Provost House overlooking the UCSC Arboretum, Farm, and Monterey Bay. Thomas, who died in 2004 at age 43, was a 1984 Oakes College graduate.

Photos of Banana Slug Spring Fair are posted online.

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