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Culture on Display as UC Merced Dedicates Auditorium

October 5, 2006

Merced community members are welcome to celebrate the lasting
gift Dr. Hanimireddy Lakireddy has given to the University of
California, Merced, campus by attending the dedication of the Dr.
Lakireddy Auditorium.

The dedication, from 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, will feature
East Indian music and dance, as well as a discussion by Dr.
Lakireddy himself on the educational journey. Dr. Lakireddy is
hosting a reception, as well, highlighting East Indian food and
drink. The event is open to the public, but event planners ask that
people RSVP by Monday, Oct. 9.

The Merced cardiologist gave his $1 million gift in 2002 to
enhance the auditorium that is part of the Classroom Building. The
building and auditorium opened in January 2006 and since then, the
auditorium has been home to UC Merced’s first graduation as well as
many other events and large lecture classes.

Lakireddy, his wife, Vijaya, and their sons, Vikram and
Sidhardha, presented the gift to then UC Merced Chancellor Carol
Tomlinson-Keasey at a private dinner. Lakireddy, originally from
India, said he understands the need for higher education because he
grew up in an area that was impoverished, but thanks to his
schooling, he was “able to make something of myself.”

He an his family have looked for ways to support UC Merced, and
his niece, Jhansi, and her husband, Dr. Rajender Reddy, a
cardiologist, from Hanford, earlier this year gave $1 million for
the university’s new student health center, opening this fall on
the second floor of the Joseph E. Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center.

Until Lakireddy’s gift, the auditorium was designed as a
spoken-word venue for lectures. But his donation allowed for a
larger stage, high-quality acoustical features, a system for
state-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment and backstage rooms
for performers, musical and performance equipment and general storage.

With the improved auditorium, the university can offer a variety
of performances, such as plays, recitals, concerts and lectures,
which can be enjoyed by the university community as well as the
public - like the dance and music of SiliconAndhra, a Silicon
Valley group that will perform at the dedication ceremony.