UCI News

Sparking Anteater spirit

Drizzly weather doesn’t dampen the mood at 2016 homecoming

by Cathy Lawhon / UCI | February 3, 2016
Sparking Anteater spirit
Freshman Brenyanna Harris-Hill (left), a psychology & social behavior major, and freshman Kayla Tanks, a business econ major, pose for a photo at the 2016 homecoming festival in Aldrich Park. Steve Zylius / UCI

Food, music, games and the crowning of Jordy Cardenas and Dominic Grand as 2016 homecoming queen and king highlighted University of California, Irvine’s “Spark the Zot in You” Saturday, Jan. 30, in Aldrich Park.

Alumni, students, faculty, staff and community members connected with the campus through a day of fun, discovery, innovation, athletics and school pride. Homecoming typically draws more than 5,000 people and despite the drizzly weather, Saturday’s event came achieved record-breaking attendance at about 6,000.

The homecoming festival from included live music and dance performances, alumni-owned food trucks and an adults-only beer garden sponsored by Hotel Irvine. Attendees could 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, which was presented by UCI Athletics. UCI’s schools and departments sponsored interactive science and research exhibits. Participants logged volunteer points for UCI’s Fifty for 50 Volunteer Program by making sandwiches for the homeless.

Anteater Talks, a new addition to the homecoming agenda, featured 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.

The day ended with a sold-out basketball game pitting UCI against UC Santa Barbara. The Gauchos handed the Anteaters their first conference loss, 76-60.

  1. alt placeholder Freshman Brenyanna Harris-Hill (left), a psychology & social behavior major, and freshman Kayla Tanks, a business econ major, pose for a photo at the 2016 homecoming festival in Aldrich Park. Steve Zylius / UCI
  2. alt placeholder Drizzle fails to dampen the spirits of these homecoming attendees. Steve Zylius / UCI
  3. alt placeholder Anteater players Mike Best (left) and Aaron Write try to steal the ball from a UC Santa Barbara player during UCI's homecoming basketball game, which the Gauchos won, 76-60. Steve Zylius / UCI
  4. alt placeholder Physics & astronomy grad student David Mallin serves up liquid nitrogen-cooled ice cream at UCI's 2016 homecoming festival. Steve Zylius / UCI
  5. alt placeholder UCI's Mamadou Ndiaye tries to steal the ball from a UC Santa Barbara player. Steve Zylius / UCI
  6. alt placeholder Students enjoy a beanbag toss in Aldrich Park as part of homecoming 2016. Steve Zylius / UCI
  7. alt placeholder Jordy Cardenas and Dominic Grand win UCI's 2016 homecoming queen and king. Steve Zylius / UCI