Common Grounds

While students can now spend hours playing video games in UCI’s new eSports arena, during the campus’s earliest days, Gateway Commons (now Gateway Study Center) and the adjacent plaza were the places to be. Designed by architect William Pereira, the commons included the campus’s main cafeteria and spaces where students could gather to study or socialize. In fact, the first graduation ceremony was held inside on June 25, 1966. Outside, Gateway Plaza has been a hub of activity since its completion in 1965, with countless pep rallies, cheerleading tryouts, protests, memorials and other events. Today, it remains a central area for students to congregate and share ideas.