Bells to Ring for Grand Opening of Graduate Center at Walker Hall April 8

Students in front of entrance to the Graduate Center at Walker hall
The Graduate Center at Walker Hall opened in fall 2021. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

Bell ringing, shouts of joy and clapping in the Graduate Studies office celebrate the moment when a student completes all requirements and final paperwork for a master’s or doctoral degree.


The tradition will sound, this time, for the grand opening ceremony of the Graduate Center at Walker Hall on Friday, April 8.

To attend, please RVSP. Everyone is required to complete a Daily Symptom Survey prior to entering facilities on campus. The event is following Campus Ready guidelines.

The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. on Walker Hall’s north lawn, and the bell ringing will conclude the program. A reception will follow, and guests can tour the building.

In a prelude to the ceremony, Cuauhtemoc Quintero Lule, a doctoral candidate in Native American studies, will play the flute.

Chancellor Gary S. May will lead the bell ringing with a 5-inch high bell donated to Graduate Studies by Brian K. Sanders, who earned a doctoral degree in education in 2014. Later, the bell will be kept on a wooden podium in the upstairs reception area of the building.

Speakers at the ceremony will include:

  • Kelly Ratliff, vice chancellor for Finance Operation and Administration
  • Gary S. May, chancellor
  • Jean-Pierre Delplanque, vice provost and dean of Graduate Studies
  • Robert Segar, assistant vice chancellor for Campus Planning and Environmental Stewardship
  • Jonathan Minnick, president of the Graduate Student Association
  • Marwa Zafarullah, representative of the Postdoctoral Scholar Association

Participating in the bell ringing will be the speakers and the following:

  • Mary Croughan, provost and executive vice chancellor
  • Cuauhtemoc Quintero Lule, a doctoral candidate in Native American studies and flautist
  • Inés Hernández-Ávila, professor of Native American studies
  • William Leddy and Ryan Jang, principals with Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects of San Francisco
  • Jim Carroll, university architect and associate vice chancellor, and Aaron Lester, associate director for capital projects, both of Design and Construction Management
  • Ron Hicks, executive vice president, and Naomi Velasco, project engineer, both of Soltek Pacific Construction

Walker Hall, one of the oldest buildings on campus and vacant since 2011, was transformed to serve graduate and postdoctoral students. It houses Graduate Studies offices, support services, the Graduate Student Association and the Postdoctoral Scholar Association. Read earlier coverage of the building's history and renovation.

The building reopened in fall 2021 when UC Davis resumed in-person instruction after being remote for more than a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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