Pauley Pavilion, UCLA’s storied venue for everything from basketball championships to presidential debates, on Thursday marks the 50th anniversary of its grand-opening event – UCLA graduation on June 11, 1965.
UCLA athletes have earned a nation-leading 112 NCAA team championships, and 40 of those titles have been won by teams that call Pauley home: women’s and men’s basketball, gymnastics and volleyball. Read the athletics story.
Pauley Pavilion has also hosted awards shows, concerts ranging from the Grateful Dead to Jay-Z, and visits from presidents, nobel laureates and the Dalai Lama. On Friday, the UCLA Class of 2015 will celebrate its commencement with two ceremonies.
A brief look at Pauley’s history.
1. Groundbreaking, 1964
We’re pretty sure they didn’t dig that hole with a shovel. Chancellor Franklin Murphy, basketball coach John Wooden and the building’s eponymous donor, UC Regent Edwin W. Pauley, appear at the groundbreaking ceremony for Pauley Pavilion.
2. Construction, 1964–65
The bones of Pauley begin to take shape. This photo looks east and shows a staggering amount of parking by modern Bruin standards.
3. Opening, 1965
Pauley opened in June next to Ackerman Union, pictured with its old façade.
4. First royal visit, 1966
Regent Edward W. Carter and UC’s Clark Kerr joined Britain’s Prince Philip on stage to present an honorary law degree to Queen Elizabeth’s husband. Prince Philip spoke at UCLA Charter Day, celebrating the 98th anniversary of the University of California.
5. Bob Hope, 1967
Bob Hope came to campus to film a special episode of “The Bob Hope Show” inside the still-new Pauley. The show included a sketch with Hope playing a UCLA football recruit refusing to suit up.
6. Dr. Spock, 1968
Dr. Benjamin Spock spoke to students during an anti-war rally. Though the pediatrician is best known for his book of baby advice, he was also a prominent activist in the anti-Vietnam War movement.
7. Check out those cars!
Some stylish cars — and some very dented student rides — parked in a lot that is long-since gone. The exact year is unknown, but even in the 1960s students complained about parking too far from classes.
8. Frank Zappa and the Philharmonic, 1970
Rock musician Frank Zappa, right, is pictured with Zubin Mehta, then-conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. The pair combined their two musical styles in concert at Pauley (not shown).
9. 1984 Olympics
The UCLA campus transformed for the 1984 Olympics, hosting tennis, track and field and an Olympic Village. The gymnastics competitions took place in Pauley Pavilion, where the U.S. men’s team won gold for the first time. More than 160,000 spectators watched events from Pauley’s stands.
10. Desmond Tutu, 1985
Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu delivered an anti-apartheid speech to student activists in 1985. “Don’t let anyone delude you into believing that what you do today is of little moment,” Tutu told the crowd. (Photo is not Pauley Pavilion.)
11. Carol Burnett and Elizabeth Taylor, 1986
At her 53rd birthday celebration, UCLA alumna Carol Burnett, right, visited with guest Elizabeth Taylor.
12. AIDS awareness, 1988
UCLA hosted a benefit honoring victims of AIDS. As part of the fundraiser, panels of the National AIDS Quilt, memorializing those killed by the syndrome, rested on the floor and hung from the ceiling.
13. Bush-Dukakis presidential debate, 1988
Presidential candidates George H.W. Bush, left, and Michael Dukakis met for their second and final debate in October. Organizers gave UCLA six days notice, during which the campus scrambled to turn Pauley into a television studio.
14. Ella Fitzgerald, 1989
Singer Ella Fitzgerald was awarded the Gershwin Award at UCLA’s student-run Spring Sing. Ray Charles accepted the Gershwin Award in 1991.
15. Henry Mancini, Julie Andrews and Luciano Pavarotti, 1994
Pauley became a star-studded party venue at a 70th birthday tribute to composer Henry Mancini. The event raised $2.1 million for arts education and featured performances and speeches by Luciano Pavarotti, Julie Andrews, Quincy Jones, Dudley Moore, John Williams and others. Pictured: UCLA alumnus and Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, Mancini and UCLA Chancellor Charles E. Young.
16. President Bill Clinton, 1994
President Bill Clinton, with Chancellor Charles E. Young, spoke at UCLA’s 75th anniversary convocation.
17. Dalai Lama, 1997
UCLA Extension brought the Dalai Lama to campus for a three-day course. During his visit, the Dalai Lama spoke to students in Pauley (not shown).
18. Cookie Monster, 2005
Alumnus Gary Knell spoke at graduation in June. As CEO of Sesame Workshop, Knell brought Cookie Monster for a special appearance.
19. Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and ‘Yes, we can!’ 2008
Michelle Obama, Caroline Kennedy, Maria Shriver and Oprah Winfrey were among the celebrities chanting “Yes, we can” at a campaign rally for Barack Obama in February.
20. Jay-Z and Rihanna, 2009
Rap superstar Jay-Z performed in a show that also included sets by N.E.R.D., J. Cole and Wale. The concert included a surprise appearance by Rihanna, singing her vocal on Jay-Z’s hit from that summer, “Run This Town.”
21. Grand opening celebration, 2012
Pauley Pavilion closed in 2010 for a two-year makeover. Watch Los Angeles join the party for the reopening in 2012.
22. New main entrance, 2012
When Pauley reopened in October, there was a new glass-walled concourse and many improved amenities.
23. John Wooden in bronze
Outside the new main entrance, Coach Wooden is immortalized.
24. New student welcome, 2013
After Pauley reopened, Chancellor Gene Block welcomed incoming freshmen and transfers during student welcome week.
25. A flood in the middle of a drought, 2014
A city water main burst on Sunset Boulevard in July and inundated the campus with an estimated 20 million gallons. Pauley was flooded and required extensive repairs.
26. Dance Marathon, 2014
UCLA’s annual 26-hour Dance Marathon grew so large that it moved into Pauley for the first time. The fundraiser to fight pediatric AIDS raises hundreds of thousands of dollars a year (nearly $4 million during its 14-year existence).
27. Commencement 2014
Bruin legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with Chancellor Gene Block at graduation in 2014, where Nobel laureate Randy Schekman delivered the keynote address and received the UCLA Medal.
28. Spring Sing, 2015
The dance group ACA Hip Hop, pictured above in their 2014 performance at Spring Sing, performed again in 2015 and took home the Bruin Choice Award.
29. It’s all about the students
Pauley Pavilion is a center of student activity on campus. Graduates of the UCLA College all end up there. For the Class of 2015, that day has arrived. #UCLA2015
30. Happy 50th, Pauley Pavilion!