This timeline shows selected highlights of Gene Block’s term as UCLA chancellor from Aug. 1, 2007, through July 31, 2024.


Gene Block named new UCLA Chancellor

The University of California Board of Regents appoints Gene Block, biologist and provost of the University of Virginia, UCLA’s new chancellor after a nationwide search. Block, who replaces Acting Chancellor Norman Abrams, will take office in August 2007.


Block on board

Gene and Carol Block move into the chancellor’s residence, and the chancellor begins his tenure Aug. 1, 2007. At the time, UCLA’s annual budget is $3.67 billion, total enrollment is approximately 38,200 and UCLA is ranked No. 4 among public universities by U.S. News & World Report.

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Inside: Chancellor Gene Block, who poses solo, is introduced as UCLA’s new Chancellor.

New medical research complex

The UCLA Biomedical Sciences Research Building and Orthopaedic Hospital Research Center is officially dedicated. Designed to foster a collaborative research environment, the facility will house scientists from the UCLA College, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the Orthopaedic Hospital.

CNSI Building opens

Chancellor Block hosts former California governor Gray Davis and government and industry leaders at the opening of UCLA’s new California NanoSystems Institute Building, at the time the most technologically complex structure ever built on campus.

UCLA's California NanoSystems Institute lit up green at night time for the opening.

NCAA championship 100

Women’s water polo brings UCLA its 100th NCAA team title.


Chancellor Block’s inauguration

On May 13, Chancellor Block is formally inaugurated at a Royce Hall ceremony attended by more than 300 dignitaries, including faculty, staff and alumni leaders, delegates from over 40 universities, former Gov. Gray Davis, the UC regents, UC President Robert Dynes and chancellors from UCLA’s nine sister UC campuses.

UCLA opens hospital of the future

The new Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center begins operation. Housing the UCLA Medical Center, Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA, and the Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA, the structure features the most advanced medical technology in the world and is the biggest construction project in UC history.

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Operation Mend: Healing wounded warriors

With support from longtime donors Ronald and Maddie Katz, UCLA launches Operation Mend, a partnership between the campus and a military medical facility in Texas to provide free medical, surgical and psychological treatment to U.S. military personnel wounded during service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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A family poses for Operation Mend, which provides free medical, surgical and psychological treatment to U.S. military personnel.

‘Father of the internet’ receives National Medal of Science

President George W. Bush awards the National Medal of Science to UCLA computer science professor Leonard Kleinrock for creating the packet-switching technology that helped lead to the development of the internet.

NCAA championships 101, 102 and 103

Women’s tennis, women’s water polo and men’s golf take home top honors.


Bruin Scholars Initiative

Chancellor Block announces a program to raise $500 million for undergraduate scholarships and graduate student fellowships by 2013 to help make a UCLA education accessible to students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. The chancellor and Mrs. Block personally contribute to the effort.

Partnership for a green L.A.

UCLA joins Caltech, LADWP, USC and others in CleanTech LA, an initiative to boost climate change research and bring green jobs to Los Angeles.

Staff scholarships

Staff Assembly and the Chancellor’s Office launch the Chancellor’s Excellence in Service Awards, providing $500 scholarships to pay for training, conferences, courses and other career-building options. In the inaugural year four staff members are recognized for contributions to civic engagement, diversity, sustainability and being “True Bruins.”

A culture of volunteerism

UCLA launches its new Volunteer Center with the first annual Volunteer Day, as more than 4,000 Bruins fan out across Los Angeles for a day of hands-on community service. Today, some 8,000 Bruins participate in Volunteer Day, making it the nation’s largest service project for new university students.

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Chancellor Block and Antonio Villaraigosa greet children during Volunteer Day 2009.

UCLA Community School

UCLA and LAUSD open the UCLA Community School to provide high-quality education to students in the underserved Koreatown/Pico-Union neighborhood. Experts from the UCLA School of Education & Information Studies help to develop the school’s instructional programs and train teachers.

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Young children reading books on a mat, on the floor, at UCLA's Community School.

Bruin Guardian Scholars

Students spark an effort to help address the unmet needs of current and former foster youth at UCLA. The new program works to build a welcoming community for these students and promote well-being and academic achievement.

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Luskin Center for Innovation

The multidisciplinary think tank, which aims to apply UCLA’s intellectual capital to pressing local environmental and sustainability issues, launches at the UCLA School of Public Affairs, thanks in part to a gift from Meyer and Renee Luskin.

Strengthening ties with Asia

With Peking University, UCLA founds the Joint Research Institute in Science and Engineering (now the UCLA–PKU Students and Scholars Program), a partnership to train future science and engineering leaders with a global perspective and to facilitate technology transfer. UCLA also bolsters existing partnerships with universities in Korea, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.

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Block presents UCLA Medals

Chancellor Block bestows the first UCLA Medals of his tenure. The university’s highest honor is presented for extraordinary contributions to UCLA and for exceptional cultural, political or humanitarian achievements. Over the years, Block will honor more than 45 individuals, from labor activist Dolores Huerta and former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to author Toni Morrison.

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NCAA championship 104

Women’s water polo notches the win.


After 70 years, degrees for interned Japanese American students

During World War II, nearly 200 Japanese American UCLA students were forced to leave campus, many for incarceration camps. Seven decades later, Chancellor Block confers their degrees.

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Japanese American former students on stage, at Commencement, after being forced to enter internment camps at the beginning of World War II. "

Research funding surpasses $1 billion

For the first time, UCLA breaks the $1 billion mark in competitively awarded research grants and contracts, with a total of $1.1 billion.

New life sciences building

UCLA opens and names the Terasaki Life Sciences Building, thanks in part to $50 million from former faculty member and organ transplant pioneer Paul Terasaki. The new building features laboratories and facilities designed to encourage multidisciplinary research, and houses UCLA’s Broad Stem Cell Research Center.

Chancellor Block stands with Paul Tarasaki and others, while cutting ribbon, at the opening of the Terasaki Life Sciences Building

NCAA championships 105 and 106

UCLA’s women’s gymnastics and softball teams are crowned.


Dream Fund at UCLA

With support from faculty member and alumnus Eric Esrailian, UCLA and Kirk Kerkorian — founder of the Lincy Foundation — announce the formation of the Dream Fund, devoted to supporting medical research and academic programs at UCLA and a wide range of charitable projects throughout the country. The fund, to be created by the transfer of the Lincy Foundation’s $200 million in assets, will be administered by the UCLA Foundation.

Introducing Bruin Day

The first annual UCLA Bruin Day welcomes thousands of admitted freshmen and their families to campus, providing them with information about academic programs, financial aid, housing options and campus activities, among other topics. The event is an element of a new enrollment management strategy.

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Students posing together in the sun, carrying bags during UCLA Bruin Day.

Giving jumps by $100 million

In 2010–11, UCLA raises $479 million in private giving. Highlights include $100 million from Meyer and Renee Luskin — the second-largest gift ever received by the campus — to endow the Luskin School of Public Affairs, help build a UCLA conference center and provide support for conferences and other programs.

Enrollment surpasses 40,000

For the first time, UCLA’s student body passes the 40,000 mark. The class includes approximately 40,700 students, including 27,200 undergraduates and 13,500 graduate students, interns and residents.

NCAA championships 107 and 108

UCLA’s women’s volleyball and women’s golf teams prove to be best in the nation.


Student and alumni startup program

Startup UCLA launches with its Summer Accelerator, the first-ever on-campus program for digital startups brainstormed by students and alumni. Ten years later, the program has supported more than 3,000 entrepreneurs, and accelerator participants have raised $100 million in funding.

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Judea Pearl wins A.M. Turing Award 

The UCLA professor emeritus of computer science receives the A.M. Turing Award from the Association for Computing Machinery, widely considered the “Nobel Prize of computing,” for innovations that have contributed to the development of artificial intelligence.

Lloyd Shapley wins Nobel Prize

Lloyd Shapley, UCLA professor emeritus of economics and mathematics, shares the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work on “the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design.” He is the sixth faculty member to win a Nobel Prize.

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Lloyd Shapley, UCLA professor emeritus of economics and mathematics, is on stage accepting Nobel Memorial Prize.

National Humanities Medal for Teo Ruiz

President Barack Obama awards Teofilo Ruiz, professor of history and chair of the department of Spanish and Portuguese, the National Humanities Medal for his research and writing on medieval Spain and Europe and his work on how society has coped with wars and other human-made catastrophes.

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Enrollment management division is UC’s first

Work begins to build a cohesive enrollment strategy for the entire campus, involving outreach, recruitment, admissions and enrollment.

A new and improved Pauley

Following a wide-ranging $136 million renovation project, Pauley Pavilion reopens with a wraparound concourse, additional seating, a new Pavilion Club, improved amenities for athletes and a statue of Coach John Wooden outside.

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UCLA Bruins signage on the outside of a renovated Pauley Pavillion.

The Hill adds two residence halls

Gardenia Way and Holly Ridge open in the DeNeve Plaza complex as part of UCLA’s long-term plan to accommodate more undergraduate students on campus.

Applicants grow in numbers and diversity

UCLA receives a record high 91,500 overall applications for fall and admits its most ethnically, geographically and socioeconomically diverse freshman class to date. Building on the UCLA Principles of Community, the campus develops a series of events, curricula and programs focused on diversity, including a seminar taught by Chancellor Block.

Tops in U.S. in giving

The campus benefited from $402 million in private giving during the 2011–12 fiscal year and is recognized as the nation’s top public university in fundraising by the Council for Aid to Education. Among this year’s gifts, the UCLA School of Public Health received $50 million from Jonathan and Karen Fielding — the largest gift in the school’s history.


Healthy Campus Initiative

UCLA launches a campuswide effort, envisioned and supported by philanthropists Jane and Terry Semel, to promote healthy lifestyle choices among students, staff and faculty and develop best practices that may help other communities seeking to do the same.

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UCLA goes tobacco free

UCLA becomes the first UC campus to institute a completely tobacco-free policy, barring the use of cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and other tobacco products, as well as e-cigarettes, both indoors and outdoors.

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The first Grand Challenge: Sustainability

UCLA announces the first of its “grand challenges” meant to unite the university’s resources to tackle some of society’s most pressing issues. The Sustainable LA Grand Challenge is an interdisciplinary effort to apply UCLA research, expertise and education to help transform Los Angeles into the world’s most sustainable megacity by 2050.

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Chancellor Block stands in front of maps of Los Angeles and the UCLA campus, as he introduces the first UCLA Grand Challenge; Sustainability.

Randy Schekman wins Nobel Prize

UC Berkeley biologist Randy Schekman, a UCLA alumnus, shares the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for his discoveries of how the cell organizes its molecular transport system — research that holds promise for understanding neurological and immunological disorders. He is the seventh alumnus to become a Nobel laureate.

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UC Berkeley biologist Randy Schekman (on stage), a UCLA alumnus, shares the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for his discoveries

More housing on the Hill

UCLA opens two new residence halls, Sproul Cove and Sproul Landing, along with a new commons building, Sproul Presidio. Together with Gardenia Way and Holly Ridge, which opened in 2012, the buildings add more than 800 new rooms and 1,450 new beds for students.

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Graduate student housing in Westwood

Weyburn Commons and Weyburn Paseo open, expanding housing for single graduate students and helping to revive Westwood Village.

UCLA’s economic impact

A report by the Center for Strategic Economic Research shows that for every dollar the state invests in UCLA, the campus returns $34 in economic activity; UCLA generates a total of $12.7 billion in economic activity in the Southern California region.

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Gifts and pledges

UCLA raises a total of $512 million in gifts and pledges during the 2012–13 fiscal year. Among them is a gift of $100 million from David Geffen to establish the David Geffen Medical Scholarship Fund, which will cover all tuition and all expenses for four years for the most highly qualified medical students. Geffen, who previously donated $200 million to UCLA, is the single largest donor ever to a UC campus.

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NCAA championships 109 and 110

Women’s soccer and baseball win big. 


Centennial Campaign for UCLA

The Centennial Campaign, the largest fundraising effort ever undertaken by a public university, seeks to raise $4.2 billion by 2019 to expand student scholarships and fellowships, faculty support, research programs, capital projects and the university’s endowment.

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A startup campus

Chancellor Block announces the creation of a new not-for-profit company to protect and optimize campus discoveries and inventions. UCLA is the source of more than 100 active startup companies based on student- and faculty-led discoveries. It also holds nearly 700 active patents.

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Economic impact on L.A.

UCLA receives an Eddy award from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation for its outstanding leadership in economic development and its contributions to the health and vitality of the Los Angeles region.

New housing in the Village and on the Hill

The expansion of undergraduate student housing continues. UCLA opens the new Landfair and Glenrock off-campus apartments in the North Village and the newly renovated Hitch suites on the Hill. The Hill’s Saxon suites are undergoing renovations and will open in 2015.

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An exterior shot of The Hill's Saxon Residential Suites on a sunny day

Wasserman Building opens

Campus leaders dedicate the Edie & Lew Wasserman Building, a new research and patient care facility built to meet the expanding needs of the Stein Eye Institute and provide space for UCLA’s Department of Neurosurgery and Institute of Urologic Oncology.

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Ostin Music Center opens

The new Evelyn and Mo Ostin Music Center, funded in part by a $10 million gift from music industry executive and philanthropist Morris “Mo” Ostin, features spaces for rehearsal and teaching, a cafe, social space and an internet-based music production center.

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An exterior shot of the Evelyn and Mo Ostin Music Center, and the inverted fountain, on.a sunny day.

NCAA championships 111 and 112

Men’s water polo and women’s tennis take home crowns.


The second Grand Challenge: Depression

Following the launch of the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge in 2013, UCLA introduces the Depression Grand Challenge, a multidisciplinary effort involving over 100 researchers from more than 25 departments to understand, prevent and treat depression. The initiative aims to reduce the health and economic impacts of depression by half by the year 2050.

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A diversity course for undergrads

Faculty approve a proposal requiring all undergraduate students in the UCLA College to complete a course focused on diversity.

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Equity, diversity and inclusion office

UCLA creates the new position of vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion, which will be responsible for promoting equity and fundamental fairness, and coordinating campuswide efforts to foster a welcoming environment.

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Increased giving

UCLA’s $643 million in gifts and pledges during 2013–14 — a campus record — include a $100 million gift from Marion Anderson to support financial aid, fellowships and other priorities at the UCLA Anderson School of Management and a gift of $50 million to the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA from the estate of Irma and Norman Switzer.

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Outside, Marion Anderson, left, wears a yellow top. She smiles next to Judy Olian, right, who is wearing a blue top.

NCAA championship 113

Men’s water polo scores the victory.


Olympics coming to UCLA

UCLA is selected as the site of the Olympic Village for the 2028 Summer Olympic Games.

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Garcetti, Nelson, Wieber, and Chancellor Block sit on stage, focusing on Wasserman as he speaks from behind a podium in the foreground.

Centennial support for students

With the Centennial Campaign more than halfway toward its goal of raising $4.2 billion, Chancellor Block launches the UCLA Chancellor’s Centennial Scholars Match Program, aimed at garnering $150 million for undergraduate scholarship support.

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First music school in the UC system

The UC regents vote to formally establish the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music as a professional school with its own dean. The school was initially launched in 2007 after a $30 million gift from the Herb Alpert Foundation.

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J. Fraser Stoddart wins Nobel Prize

Northwestern University’s J. Fraser Stoddart, who was a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UCLA from 1997 to 2008, shares the Nobel Prize in chemistry “for the design and synthesis of molecular machines.”

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Technology Development Group created

The Technology Development Group succeeds the Office of Intellectual Property and Industry-Sponsored Research as the campuswide unit for securing patents and licenses for UCLA inventions. At the time, UCLA is No. 3 in the nation in launching startups based on faculty members’ research, according to the Association of University Technology Managers.

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Luskin Conference Center opens

The UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center features 25,000 square feet of conference space, 254 guest rooms, a restaurant and underground parking. Located in the heart of campus, the center provides space for the campus community to host academic summits and events aimed at addressing some of society’s most vexing problems.

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A ribbon across the screen reads 'UCLA Meyer & Renee Luskin Conference Center'. Block, the Luskins, and EVCP Waugh each hold scissors to demonstrate the first snip. Background: the conference building is partially visible.


UCLA named No. 1 public university

UCLA — long ranked the nation’s No. 2 public university in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” survey — reaches the No. 1 ranking. The campus also captures the No. 1 public university spot in the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education rankings, and the New York Times names UCLA the No. 1 top-tier university for enrolling low- and middle-income students.

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Depression screening for all incoming first-year students

UCLA’s Depression Grand Challenge offers voluntary depression screening and treatment for UCLA’s entire incoming freshman class. More than 2,600 students participate.

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Applications top 100,000

A total of 102,226 students apply for UCLA freshman admission for fall 2017, a campus and national record. Applications do not drop below this 100,000 threshold in subsequent years, as UCLA is consistently the most applied-to school in the country.

Resources for veterans

As part of a growing partnership between UCLA and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, UCLA and the Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System collaborate to open a new legal clinic and wellness center and to begin development of a program focusing on homelessness.

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Horace Mann UCLA Community School

Building on the success of the UCLA Community School in Koreatown, UCLA and the LAUSD partner to launch the Horace Mann UCLA Community School in South Los Angeles in an effort to reverse years of declining enrollment and foster a college-going culture.

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A group of 8 people stand in a school hallway. On both sides, bright blue lockers.

Grad student wins UC Grad Slam

Psychology graduate student Leslie Rith-Najarian delivers three jargon-free minutes on her research into how to make mental health more engaging and accessible, winning the competition among University of California campuses. She is the first UCLA student to capture first place since the competition was initiated in 2015.

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Geffen Hall dedicated

Campus leaders and philanthropist David Geffen cut the ribbon on Geffen Hall, the new home of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. The facility features teaching labs, an auditorium, exam rooms and cutting-edge multimedia technology.

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A leap in enrollment and staff

UCLA’s student body has grown by roughly 5,000 since 2011 and now totals approximately 45,230 including 31,000 undergraduates and 14,430 graduate students, interns and residents. UCLA’s full-time staff has also increased by nearly 10,000 to roughly 38,350 since Chancellor Block took office.

Annual giving

Major gifts during the 2016–17 fiscal year included $50 million from Mattel Inc. to expand Mattel Children’s hospital UCLA, putting the year-end giving total at $551 million.

NCAA championship 114

Men’s water polo clinches the win for the second year in a row.


UCLA is No. 1 again

UCLA is once again named the No. 1 public university by both U.S. News & World Report and the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education survey. Forbes ranks UCLA the No. 1 “best value” university in the U.S.

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Centennial Campaign surpasses goal

UCLA’s Centennial Campaign meets its goal of raising $4.2 billion 18 months ahead of its December 2019 target. The campaign continues to fundraise in key areas, including scholarships, so that students from all backgrounds can afford a UCLA education.

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Growth in student internships

Nearly half of all UCLA students now serve at least one internship with a corporation or community organization before earning their bachelor’s degrees. 

Project Welcome reaches out

UCLA’s Office of Enrollment Management creates Project Welcome to reach out to middle and high school students who believe a UCLA education may not be affordable or attainable. The project provides them with regular information about why college matters, how they can become highly competitive applicants and how they can obtain financial resources.

Office of Strategic Communications created

Chancellor Block announces that UCLA’s University Communications and Public Outreach will become the Office of Strategic Communications.

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Engineering VI building opens

The state-of-the-art facility includes research and teaching spaces that will help the Samueli School of Engineering accommodate its planned growth in students and faculty over the next few years.

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Wide shot of a crowd facing a brick building. In the distance, a man faces the crowd from behind a clear podium.

UCLA acquires historic Crest Theater

The School of the Arts and Architecture and its performing arts program, the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, acquire the Crest Theater in Westwood Village, a landmark venue that will be transformed into the UCLA Nimoy Theater, a new off-campus performing arts space scheduled to open in September 2023.

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An economic engine

A study by the Beacon Economics consultancy finds that UCLA contributes $11.06 billion annually in economic activity to the California economy, with more than $4 billion in the city of Los Angeles. The report also shows that the campus is the fourth-largest employer in Los Angeles County, behind the county itself, LAUSD and the city of Los Angeles.

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NCAA championships 115 and 116

Women’s gymnastics and beach volleyball reach the top.


No. 1, for the third year in a row  

UCLA maintains its spot as the top public university in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” survey.

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3 chancellors ‘Lighting the Way’

A special Centennial Alumni Day features a panel with Chancellor Block and former chancellors Charles E. Young and Albert Carnesale, along with a memorable light-and-sound show projected onto the exterior of Royce Hall.

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Night time. The Royce Hall exterior is brightly lit in blue and gold lights. A projection of former LA Mayor Tom Bradley covers the right tower.

Community-Engaged research

The Chancellor’s Award for Community-Engaged Scholars launches, to support UCLA faculty in their efforts to collaborate with communities on research and design new undergraduate courses involving students in that research. 

Centennial Campaign closes

From May 2014 through December 2019, nearly 220,000 donors from all 50 states and 98 additional countries gave more than 574,000 gifts totaling $5.49 billion to the Centennial Campaign. 

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Historic gift to UCLA Engineering

The Samueli School of Engineering receives its largest gift ever: $100 million from longtime supporters Henry and Susan Samueli to support the school’s 2016–28 expansion, which includes enrolling more graduate students and adding professors.

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UCLA hosts Michelle Obama

Former first lady Michelle Obama and stars from the entertainment and sports worlds speak to nearly 10,000 high schoolers in Pauley Pavilion for College Signing Day, an event that celebrates students — especially those from low-income, underrepresented and first-generation backgrounds — who have committed to pursuing higher education.

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NCAA championships 117 and 118

Softball and beach volleyball are tops in the country.


COVID hits campus — and UCLA commits to not lay off any staff 

In response to the growing COVID-19 crisis, Chancellor Block announces that UCLA will transition to almost completely remote learning and working. By December, the pandemic has had a significant financial impact on the campus through increased costs and lost revenue. UCLA leadership institutes budget reductions along with other measures but makes a commitment to not lay off any staff throughout the pandemic.

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Pitching in against the pandemic

UCLA Health becomes one of the first academic health systems to develop in-house COVID-19 testing, and two vaccine clinical trials are held at UCLA. Bioengineers use 3D printers to create face shields for frontline medical workers; staff from the Fielding School of Public Health help train the public in contact tracing; researchers from the Samueli School of Engineering create a machine-learning model used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to predict the spread of the virus; and the Depression Grand Challenge partners with Beyonce’s BeyGOOD in developing tools for well-being.

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Andrea Ghez wins Nobel Prize

UCLA physics and astronomy professor Andrea Ghez shares the Nobel Prize in physics “for the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy.” She is the eighth faculty member to be named a Nobel laureate.

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A woman with curly grey hair, pearls, and a gold paisley suit looks up and smiles in front of a bluish-gold streaked galactic background.

Rising to the challenge

Triggered by the murder of George Floyd, racial and social justice protests and civil unrest dominate the summer of 2020. UCLA leadership announces a broad series of responses and initiatives aimed at ensuring lasting change that will have a positive impact on the campus and its communities.

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UCLA’s first virtual commencement

Commencement 2020, meant to be the final chapter of the UCLA Centennial Celebration, becomes a virtual celebration due to COVID-19, with alumnus George Takei as the featured speaker for the UCLA College ceremony.

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Photo collage: Top, a grey-haired man raises his palm forward in the Vulcan salute; greenery behind him. Lower left, Chancellor Block in blue regalia; bookshelves behind him. Lower right, a woman with long hair in a black graduation gown; empty theatre seats behind her.

Becoming a Hispanic-Serving Institution

UCLA lays out plans to achieve federal designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution by 2025. The designation would qualify the campus for a range of federal grants to bolster educational programs and benefit Latino communities on campus.

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New athletic director named

Chancellor Block names Boston College’s Martin Jarmond the next Alice and Nahum Lainer Family Director of Athletics. Jarmond becomes UCLA’s ninth athletic director, replacing the retiring Dan Guerrero, who held the position for 18 years.

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No. 1 four years in a row

U.S. News & World Report once again ranks UCLA the nation’s No. 1 public university.

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NCAA championship 119

Men’s water polo earns another title


Return to campus

After nearly a year-and-a-half of remote learning and working, Bruins are welcomed back to campus in the fall, with a surprise visit from Chancellor Block on Bruin Plaza on the first day of classes. The campus institutes long-term masking, testing and other pandemic-related measures.

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A masked grey haired man holds a microphone and raises his hand. A small crowd point cameras towards him. Behind Block, UCLA drummers and staff wrap around the Bruin statue.

Black Bruin Resource Center

The Black Bruin Resource Center opens in Kerckhoff Hall with the mission of providing a welcoming space for Black students to find and create community through social activities and academic support. The center helps to foster Black student learning, development and scholarship, as well as mental health and wellness.

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A large group donning COVID masks take space in front of a hand painted mural, depicting notable Black Bruins. Chancellor Block can be seen in the center

Ardem Patapoutian wins Nobel Prize

Alumnus Ardem Patapoutian shares the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for helping to answer fundamental question about how the nervous system senses temperature and touch. He is the eighth UCLA graduate to become a Nobel laureate.

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No. 1 for a fifth straight year

UCLA retains its spot as the best public university in the country in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” rankings.

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New neuropsychiatric hospital in Mid-Wilshire neighborhood

UCLA acquires the Olympia Medical Center after its closure and develops plans for a free-standing neuropsychiatric hospital. Hospital beds currently located at the Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital in Westwood will be relocated to the new facility, which will also expand the number of available beds. Completion is anticipated in 2026. 

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Lifelong learning with Bruin Promise

Spearheaded by Alumni Affairs and UCLA Extension, UCLA launches Bruin Promise, an initiative to provide continuing education and career support to all UCLA graduates and certificate holders through both free and paid classes.

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2 new residence halls

The Olympic and Centennial residence halls open on the Hill, providing 621 rooms and 1,800 new beds for undergraduates who want to enjoy the benefits of living on campus. Their occupancy brings the total number of students living on campus to approximately 14,500.

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Judith Baca mural unveiled

Artist and faculty member Judith Baca creates “La Memoria de la Tierra: UCLA,” an 80-foot mural in Ackerman Union that depicts the history, present and future of UCLA and the land on which it sits.

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A woman with a red scarf is spotlighted, speaking into a microphone. Behind her, a mural depicts the face of a native woman, Dolores Huerta, Martin Luther King Jr., and historical activists.

Research funding tops $1.7 billion

Competitively awarded research grants and contracts to faculty totaled more than $1.7 billion in fiscal year 2021–22. The figure represents a 93% increase from the $892 million in grants and contracts awarded during Chancellor Block’s first full year in office.

5,000 graduate degrees

For the first time, the number of UCLA masters, professional practice and doctoral degrees awarded reaches the 5,000 mark, compared with 4,311 graduate degrees conferred in 2006-07.

Homeless Healthcare Collaborative

UCLA Health launches “customized street medicine” in early 2022, with two mobile vans that visit shelters, camps, interim housing sites and people on the street. With more than 9,000 encounters in the initial year, the specially trained caregivers address the primary and urgent care needs of unhoused adults and children.

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On the side of a van, the words "Bringing Care to You" are center. Two uniformed nurses in PPE support a black man crouching. Right, a gloved hand offers water.

Record-breaking giving

UCLA received $658 million in gifts and pledges during fiscal year 2021–22, the highest amount for any single year and nearly $180 million more than was received during Chancellor Block’s first year.

Continuing UCLA growth

Total student enrollment reaches more than 46,600, representing a 24% increase in the student body over Chancellor Block’s tenure. The campus’s annual budget is $10.9 billion, a jump of roughly 63% over the same time period.

No. 1 for six years running

For the sixth straight year, UCLA is named the nation’s No. 1 public university in U.S. News & World Report’s annual “Best Colleges” rankings.

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First Thursdays kicks off

UCLA inaugurates First Thursdays, an ongoing campaign aimed at revitalizing Westwood Village and restoring the longstanding link between the campus and the neighborhood. More than 35,000 students, staff, faculty, alumni and members of the local community will attend First Thursdays during its first year.

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A group of masked female students laughing in downtown Westwood. Behind them a ferris wheel sits in frame.

Time-to-degree efforts paying off

UCLA undergraduates are earning their degrees more quickly. Only 69% of students who entered in 2007 graduated in four years, compared with 85% of students who entered in 2018. The improvement for transfer students is even more dramatic: 56% of transfers who entered in 2007 finished in two years, compared with 74% of transfers who entered in 2020.

Bruins Rising Initiative

Building on the UC’s Native American Opportunity Plan, UCLA introduces the Native American and Pacific Islander Bruins Rising Initiative, which includes investments to enhance the intellectual community devoted to Native American and Pacific Islander peoples, create more inclusive and equitable student experiences, and provide meaningful support for staff.

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First and only UC to launch a housing guarantee

Expanded residence hall and apartment space means UCLA is able to guarantee four years of housing in university-owned residences to incoming freshmen and two years to new transfer students. UCLA is the first and only UC campus to offer this housing guarantee.

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UCLA expands to South Bay

UCLA acquires a new 24.5-acre UCLA South Bay campus in Rancho Palos Verdes and an 11-acre residential site, the UCLA South Bay Villas in San Pedro, which will enable the university to reach and serve more students.

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An aerial view of a parking lot lined with trees and reddish roofs, looks over the ocean as the sun sets.

More housing: UCLA apartments

With the opening of three new apartment buildings — Laurel, Palo Verde and Tipuana — and increased capacity at the Gayley Heights complex, UCLA is able to provide housing to 3,400 additional Bruins.

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UCLA to join the Big Ten Conference

In a move designed to better support the campus’s student-athletes amid major changes in collegiate athletics, UCLA decides to move from the Pac-12 Conference to the Big Ten, beginning with the 2024–25 season.

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The UCLA and Big News logos over an aerial view of the UCLA campus.

Darnell Hunt becomes EVCP

Darnell Hunt, dean of the division of social sciences and a professor of sociology and African American studies, is named UCLA Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost.

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NCAA championship 120

Women’s soccer gets the W in a thrilling come-from-behind victory.


Faculty Forward Initiative

UCLA introduces the Faculty Forward Initiative, which focuses on the recruitment and retention of faculty whose scholarship, research, mentorship and education are related to groups traditionally underrepresented in academia.

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Affordability Initiative

UCLA launches its Affordability Initiative, a campuswide effort to raise funds for scholarships to eliminate the burden of student loans and help provide pathways toward a debt-free college education.

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Unveiling the improved Hammer Museum

Following a two-decades-in-the-making transformation, director Anne Philbin unveils the Hammer Museum’s new look — featuring new and renovated galleries, a sculpture terrace, and a street-level exhibition space visible from the outside.

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Chancellor Block and Mrs. Block flank a blonde woman wearing a houndstooth suit in the entryway of the Hammer Museum.

100 years of Black Greek life

The Upsilon chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, UCLA’s first Black fraternity, celebrates its centennial with the dedication of a permanent plaque outside Kerckhoff Hall. The campus’s first Black sorority, the Pi chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta, also marked its centennial in 2023.

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A transformative downtown property

UCLA acquires the historic Trust Building in downtown Los Angeles, advancing Chancellor Block’s mission of broadening access to a UCLA education and strengthening the university’s engagement with the city’s diverse communities. Initially, the building will house programs and administrative offices for UCLA Extension.

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NCAA championship 121

Men’s volleyball goes the distance.


Chancellor Block steps down

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