18th annual All-Staff Picnic marks commemorative crossroads

Faculty and StaffFriends and Supporters

Several thousand UCLA staff members packed into Dickson Plaza last Wednesday to enjoy food, entertainment and an array of Bruin activities amid the long shadows gracing the autumnal All-Staff Picnic.

Marked with nuance to last year’s event — which celebrated the return to campus following the COVID-19 pandemic — this year’s picnic had a commemorative tone as both Veterans Day and Chancellor Gene Block’s final year at the helm of UCLA were recognized.

The annual picnic, hosted by UCLA Staff Assembly and the Chancellor’s office, brings together employees from across all UCLA locations and provides an opportunity to network and engage with leadership.

“You’re the heartbeat of this campus — what really makes this campus UCLA,” said Chancellor Block, who was joined by his wife Carol at the podium for opening remarks. “You are what guarantees that our students have a great experience and that our faculty are supported in their scholarship and their teaching.”

Lucine Torosian, president of Staff Assembly, presented the Blocks with UCLA Staff Assembly certificates and personalized plaques sporting bruin bear statuettes.

“For the last 16 years, the Blocks have been strong supporters of UCLA’s Staff Assembly and remain committed to demonstrating UCLA’s appreciation for its dedicated staff,” Torosian said.

The event’s programming also included a presentation of the colors by the UCLA Joint ROTC Color Guard to commemorate Veterans Day, as well as music, a traditional Armenian dance performance, Bruin-related activities — and a visit from Birdie the therapy dog, courtesy of UCLA Health.