By Judy Lin
Published May 13, 2008 5:00 PM
It's official: Gene Block was inaugurated as UCLA's chief executive in a festive ceremony May 13 that balanced pomp with revelry and filled Royce Hall with well-wishers from the campus community and beyond.
More than 300 dignitaries in academic regalia marched into the auditorium in grand style, beckoned by a trumpet fanfare written and performed especially for the chancellor. Accompanying the chancellor were faculty and administrators; delegates from more than 40 U.S.universities and colleges, including USC President Steven B. Sample; donors who have established endowed chairs; the UC regents; former Gov. Gray Davis; UC President Robert C. Dynes; President-Elect Mark Yudof; and chancellors from sister UC campuses.
There was, of course, the formal pomp and circumstance that befit such a momentous occasion, but the ceremony was also punctuated with lively rhythms on a world-music scale — a gospel choir's rendition of the national anthem, a foot-stomping folklorico dance and pounding Brazilian percussions representing UCLA's diverse and talented student community.
Read the complete story and see videos of Kareem's and Block's speeches at UCLA Today Online.