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It's Official

By Judy Lin

Published May 13, 2008 5:00 PM


Chancellor Gene Block received the UC Chancellor's Medal from UC President Robert C. Dynes. (By Todd Cheney/UCLA Photo)

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.