Not long after UCI held its first day of classes in 1965, a group of faculty, staff and students came together to meet the needs of the growing, multicultural campus. On Oct. 16, 1974, the Cross-Cultural Center was born, the first of its kind in the University of California system. Now 40 years old, the center aims to create a socially just campus, foster cultural identities and provide opportunities for community engagement. To celebrate its importance in mediating campus climate issues, director Kevin Huie hosted a birthday bash highlighting the campus’s vibrant ethnic and cultural groups. “The CCC not only has been a ‘home away from home’ for many students and alumni, but also has been a place where innovative multicultural practices, student activism and transformational leadership development have played a significant role in shaping the identity of the campus and addressing the various social ills that challenge the inclusivity of our community,” Huie said. The party featured alumni Q-and-A sessions, remarks from Professor Emeritus Joseph L. White and dance performances by student cultural organizations. A separate 40th anniversary celebration open to the public is planned as part of UCI’s homecoming festivities in January. “Our students are more competent, more savvy and more intellectually engaged around issues of diversity and social justice than previous generations,” Huie said. “It’s the education and experiences that the CCC offers that significantly contribute to this reality.”