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UCI Science Library to Be Named in Honor of Francisco J. Ayala

Francicso Ayala

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Julie Sully
Library Development Office
949-824-4658
jsully@uci.edu

— Irvine, Calif., April 26, 2010 —

The UC Irvine Science Library will be renamed the Francisco J. Ayala Science Library in recognition of the world-renowned evolutionary biologist’s considerable scientific achievements and contributions to the campus.

"We are honored to name the Science Library after such a distinguished professor who has made an indelible mark on science education around the world," said Deborah Sunday, UCI Associate University Librarian.  "The Science Library is a landmark building on campus and plays an important symbolic role for the value of scientific knowledge, research, and learning as well as a very practical daily role in the lives of students, faculty, and the community. This naming lifts the stature and visibility of the building on campus and reinforces its value to our scholarly community."

Francisco J. Ayala, the Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences at UCI, last month was named winner of the 2010 Templeton Prize — the latest of many honors, including the National Medal of Science, the nation's highest science prize, in 2002.

"The library in a university is the focus of academic research and study, and the repository of the wisdom of previous generations and our own," said Ayala.  "It is a great and very rewarding honor to have the UCI Science Library named after me.  I will treasure that honor with immense gratitude for the rest of my life."

Ayala, whose research on parasitic protozoa could lead to cures for malaria and other diseases, was announced the 2010 Templeton Prize recipient at a March 25 ceremony in Washington, D.C. The annual award honors people for exceptional contributions to affirming life's spiritual dimension. Ayala's elegant discussions on the necessary separation and coexistence of science and religion have made him a respected and sought-after commentator on such issues.

Opened in 1994, the UCI Science Library is a spectacular, award-winning building designed by the architectural firm of James Stirling, Michael Wilford and Associates, London, England. It hosts one of the largest consolidated science, technology, and biomedical libraries in the nation. It supports research and instruction in science, medicine, and technology including astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, Earth system science, engineering, mathematics, medicine, and physics. More than 2,000 individual study spaces, faculty and graduate reading rooms, 50 group study rooms, and a late-night study center are available, as well as the Interactive Learning Center which provides a computer laboratory and an instruction center.  On a typical day, the Science Library receives approximately 2,800 visitors.

The naming of the Science Library is the final designation of UCI's three Libraries.  The Jack Langson Library was dedicated in 2003, and the Forest J. Grunigen Medical Library in 2001.  The Libraries' Gateway Study Center facility is yet to be named.

The naming of the Francisco J. Ayala Science Library is pending approval by the UC Office of the President.