11 of UCI's 14 first graduating students
UCI's first graduating class consisted of 14 students (11 pictured here). This year, more than 7,000 Anteaters will participate in commencement ceremonies. UCI

Irvine, Calif., June 1, 2015 — “Born Free” ruled the box office and the Beatles’ “Paperback Writer” topped the Billboard charts when UC Irvine’s first graduating class of 14 students received their diplomas. On June 25, 1966, in what is now the Libraries Gateway Study Center, they gathered with family and friends at tables draped in harvest-gold linens and shook the hand of founding Chancellor Daniel G. Aldrich Jr.

This year – representing the scale by which the campus has grown – ceremonies for UCI’s 50th graduating class will stretch over four days in the Bren Events Center, and 7,057 Anteaters will participate. Ten school-based events will be held, featuring addresses by renowned leaders in business, technology, athletics and law.

“The University of California continues to be the state’s best launchpad for talented, ambitious and idealistic young people, and UCI students are among the country’s most dedicated and accomplished,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman. “The UCI class of 2015 is destined to do great things in the world, and at commencement we celebrate with them and their loved ones as they embark on their brilliant futures.”

Noteworthy commencement speakers include:

  • Four-time Olympic diving champion and UCI graduate Greg Louganis (’83, drama), who will address graduates of the Francisco J. Ayala School of Biological Sciences;
  • Henry Samueli, co-founder, chief technical officer and chairman of the board at Broadcom Corp. and owner of the Anaheim Ducks, who will be featured at The Henry Samueli School of Engineering commencement;
  • Javier Palomarez, President & CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, who will be the featured speaker at the Graduate Hooding Ceremony;
  • Bran Ferren, co-founder and chief creative officer of Applied Minds, who will speak at a joint ceremony for the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, the School of Education and the School of Physical Sciences;
  • The Honorable Maria Hernandez, presiding judge of Orange County’s Juvenile Court, who will deliver an address at the School of Social Ecology commencement;
  • Michael Morhaime, president and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment, who will speak at a joint ceremony for the School of Humanities and the Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences; and
  • Paul Merage, chairman and co-founder of MIG Capital, who will address graduates of The Paul Merage School of Business.

Here’s the commencement weekend schedule. All ceremonies will take place in the Bren Events Center.

Friday, June 12

9 a.m. – The Henry Samueli School of Engineering

12:30 p.m. – School of Social Sciences 1

4 p.m. – School of Social Sciences 2

Saturday, June 13

9 a.m. – Program in Nursing Science, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Program in Public Health

12:30 p.m. – Claire Trevor School of the Arts, School of Education and School of Physical Sciences

4:30 p.m. – Graduate hooding ceremony

Sunday, June 14

9 a.m. – School of Social Ecology

12:30 p.m. – Francisco J. Ayala School of Biological Sciences

4 p.m. – School of Humanities and Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences

Monday, June 15

9:30 a.m. – The Paul Merage School of Business

The School of Medicine held its commencement May 30, and the School of Law conducted its ceremony May 9. For complete commencement information, go to www.commencement.uci.edu.

About the University of California, Irvine: Currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $4.8 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.

Media access: Radio programs/stations may, for a fee, use an on-campus ISDN line to interview UC Irvine faculty and experts, subject to availability and university approval. For more UC Irvine news, visit wp.communications.uci.edu. Additional resources for journalists may be found at communications.uci.edu/for-journalists.