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UCLA Magazine Fall 2002
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Fall 2002
Coming Home
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FOR SIX BRUIN PIONEERS, RETURNING TO CAMPUS AWAKENS VIVID MEMORIES OF WHEN BOTH THEY AND UCLA WERE VERY YOUNG

A quick stop at Founder's Rock.

By Marina Dundjerski '94
Photography by Jilly Wendell

"IT'S LIKE … A CITY!" Harry Zide, his eyes open wide, tells his best friend, Hy Goldman, as their bus rumbles along Charles E. Young Drive. It's a warm summer's day and the campus is bustling with activity. "There are so many people walking," he marvels.

Summer programs are in session, and there are groups of prospective students taking campus tours, but Zide and Goldman are not here for a freshman orientation.

Though they very well could be. For the souls of the six Bruins taking a guided tour of their alma mater are as young and curious as in the days when they were students wandering about what was then called the Southern Branch of the University of California. These are Pioneer Bruins, UCLA alumni who spent at least one year at the old Vermont Avenue campus (now home to Los Angeles City College) before the Westwood site opened in 1929. And on this day in late June, some are touring the sprawling, 419-acre university grounds for the first time.

While students today might walk right past without noticing, a stop at Founder's Rock, just north of Murphy Hall, brings back vivid memories for the Pioneers. The 75-ton granite boulder was hauled from Perris, Calif., for the formal dedication of the chaparral-covered Westwood campus on October 25, 1926.

"This rock was the only thing here," says Sherman Grancell '30, president of the Pioneer Bruins, who piled his classmates into his Model-T Ford to witness the dedication ceremony 76 years ago. "There was dirt and weeds and Founder's Rock."

Chimes in Holly Halsted Balthis '29 — the oldest living Rose Queen — "Has it been defaced by USC yet?"

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