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Bruin Tracks: Back to School


By Mark Davis

Published Jan 1, 2007 8:00 AM

Joe Bruin greets newcomers and poses for family portraits. Adults mingle in the temperate August evening. Younger children laugh and chase each other. Teenagers socialize together or check out the tennis courts.

Excitement and anticipation hang in the air as families get acquainted at the first-ever Bruin Family Experience welcome reception. Organized by the UCLA Alumni Association, UCLA Recreation and UCLA Housing & Hospitality Services, Bruin Family Experience 2006 brought alumni and their families back to UCLA for a four-day taste of campus. Families enjoyed the comforts of modern residence hall suites and indulged in the best of UCLA's recreation and academics.

For many, it was more than a weekend away for the family.

"We thought we should get our son, Jimmy [age 9] to think about college," explains Luanne Galizio '85, from Oceanside. "So we decided to come to UCLA this summer." Margaret Tooch '83, who lives in Simi Valley, tells a similar story. "We get to discover UCLA with our kids, to get them started on the college path. I wanted to get my daughter Brielle [age 7] on campus so she could see what UCLA is like for herself. But also, I know the UCLA student counselors are great role models for the kids."

The combination of returning to campus and enjoying vacation together is a potent formula.

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Get in on the fun: Get back to campus, and bring the family! For information about Bruin Family Experience 2007, visit BruinFamilyExperience.

"We live in Orange County, so we're fairly close," says Christopher Dornbush '92, speaking for his family, including wife Krista '92 and kids Cal, 9, and Kylie, 5. "We're looking forward to the Visualization Portal and the Marina Aquatic Center. And seeing the Fowler Museum, which had just opened when we were here, and the botanical gardens. This is a nice way to get connected back to campus. We're here for a big family vacation, but we know that in five years, this experience will remain with [our kids]; this will be a good impression of what college life is like."

"It made us proud, happy and committed to extending the UCLA experience to our families and to generations to come," says June Bacon-Bercey '54. "My 15-year-old granddaughter (and future Bruin, I hope) gleefully told her mother, 'Oh mommy, I want to come back.' "