Chris Kingston and his fiancee, Peg, demonstrate Anteater spirit during UCI’s 50th anniversary homecoming, held in Aldrich Park in 2015. This year's event starting at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, will feature music and dance performances, interactive science booths, Anteater Talks, and men's basketball game against on the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. Steve Zylius / UCI

Irvine, Calif., Jan. 26, 2016 – Everything from one-minute career counseling sessions to a fast-paced, competitive basketball game will be part of the University of California, Irvine’s homecoming Saturday, Jan. 30. Themed “Spark the Zot in You,” the event gives alumni and community members the chance to connect with the campus through a day of fun, discovery, innovation, athletics and school pride. It typically draws more than 5,000 alumni, students, faculty, staff and supporters and is open to the public.

The homecoming festival from 3 to 6 p.m. in Aldrich Park will include live music and dance performances, alumni-owned food trucks and an adults-only beer garden sponsored by Hotel Irvine. Attendees can get their zot on at the Alumni Antrepreneur Fair, receive advice from UCI’s Career Center, and release some energy at a family fun zone and clinics presented by UCI Athletics. UCI’s schools and departments will present interactive science and research exhibits. Participants will also be able to give back through an on-the-spot, 15-minute community service project supporting the homeless.

Anteater Talks, a new addition to the homecoming agenda, will feature distinguished alums Gene Wie ’01, M.F.A. ’03, an internationally accomplished conductor, musician and educator; and Tim Kashani ’86, MBA ’91, founder and CEO of Apples & Oranges Studios, ShowbizU and IT Mentors. Held from 7 to 9 p.m. in The Cove at UCI Applied Innovation, Anteater Talks explores art, innovation and the inherent curiosity behind discovery. Registration is required.

Homecoming will also provide opportunities for scholarship fundraising and networking. The Black Alumni Scholarship Luncheon begins with a noon reception and includes a silent auction and a guest appearance by Valerie Sheppard, a UCI lecturer who teaches student development and business courses. The second annual Chicano/Latino Alumni Luncheon, set for noon, will feature a keynote speaker, an overview of student demographics and networking. Both events are open to all, though registration is required.

The day culminates with the UCI men’s basketball team – the 2015 Big West tournament champions – taking on UC Santa Barbara. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. The homecoming game in the Bren Events Center sells out each year, so tickets should be purchased well in advance.

UCI alumni who register will get two complimentary basketball tickets. All attending alumni will receive a 3-by-5-foot UCI flag, courtesy of GEICO, while supplies last.

Homecoming parking is free. Visit for a detailed schedule, parking locations and registration. Join us, and spark the zot in you!

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

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 Additional resources for journalists may be found at