While the early summer weather creates a peaceful, easy atmosphere around Westwood, not everyone on campus is ready to kick back and relax. The end of Spring quarter brings not only caps and gowns, but numerous special cleaning and administrative tasks in preparation for every student’s most anticipated academic rite of passage: Graduation Day. From the first exam of finals week to the very last cap toss, Custodial & Grounds staff are in high gear, working to create a beautiful and festive atmosphere for graduating Bruins and their families.
Greg Luna, Superintendent of Grounds, was asked about his team’s special goals for the season leading up to one of our most important weekends of the year.
“In preparation for this year’s commencement ceremonies, Grounds has been undertaking a variety of tasks that may sometimes get overlooked among their regular assignments of trimming, weeding, blowing and edging. This year the staff has been undertaking newly appointed standards set forth by the new landscaping plan that involves the installation of California Natives, lush and efficient plants that are to be installed throughout campus moving forward. It is with this new standard that the campus is also removing any natural grass turf panels and replacing with California Native plants, drip irrigation, mulch and in some instances, a complimenting hardscape. The staff has completed their first full turf conversion at Moore Hall, and it came out amazing, just in time for commencement and all of our guests to enjoy.
Along with the extra landscape projects, the crew has also been making sure that the campus walkways and roads are free of gum and stains, and keeping all of the campus trash receptacles neat and clean. So much goes into preparation for commencement every year, and the Grounds crew does a phenomenal job, as well as all the other Facilities Management departments, to get the campus landscape in tip-top shape to show off to all visitors who may attend any of the many commencement ceremonies. This could not be done without our entire C & G team.”
In addition to the many outdoor preparations taking place, Custodial Services is focused on creating an atmosphere of celebration and relaxation for the countless friends, family and alumni flocking to Westwood this weekend to honor their graduates. Custodial Manager Lizett Martinez, herself a Bruin alumna, knows first hand how crucial these preparations are to making a memorable commencement weekend for all.
“Commencement,” she notes, “is a special time for students as they complete another chapter in their lives. We understand the importance of this milestone for them, their family and friends. As such each year we strive to ensure that, in collaboration with the Events Office, we provide additional staffing to take care of the venues. Custodians are also parents, friends, and community members that want to ensure that this day is special.”
Custodial & Grounds Director Justin Wisor is particularly proud of the continued efforts of his teams, especially during times of increased campus activity and visitor presence.
“The amount of effort and enthusiasm our Grounds and Custodial workers put forth in supporting campus operations is a testament to the community we have fostered here at UCLA. Each member’s role is crucial to keep campus running well, and while it may be hard to spot our staff at work behind the scenes on such a busy weekend, their dedication and skill ensures that our graduates, their families and other visitors can expect an enjoyable and exciting weekend celebrating what it means to be a Bruin.”
The extra hours, attention to detail and beautification projects are well worth the effort as campus emerges looking fresh and vibrant, providing the perfect backdrop for capturing lifelong memories. Facilities Management is proud to congratulate all 2023 UCLA graduates and we wish them all the best as they carry their UCLA experiences out into the world!