30 Events in 30 Days A 30th Birthday Celebration of the Bren Events Center


On January 8th, 1987, the Bren Events Center opened it's doors for the first time to the general public. This 6,000-seat indoor arena has seen many great events, shows, concerts, gatherings, graduations and so much more! In celebration of "The Bren's" 30th birthday we will look back at some great memories that have happened within the Bren walls each day until The Bren's birthday on January 8th, 2017! Join us as we take a walk down memory lane with the likes of artists, performers, speakers, athletes and of course, Peter the Anteater!


The Bren Events Center Opens as Scott Brooks Scores a Game 43 Points, January 8, 1987

The UCI Men’s Basketball team beat Utah State 118-96 in front of a sold-out crowd.

Current NBA Head Coach Scott Brooks (Washington Wizards) scored 41 points for the Anteaters that night.


Bronze "Peter the Anteater" Unveiled, January 14, 1988

Installation of "Peter the Anteater" to Guard the Bren

The 430-pound, bronze anteater that guards the front of the Bren was unveiled at the 1st Anniversary Celebration of the Bren. It was a $50,000 gift to the University from the Class of 1987. Officially named Peter the Anteater, the 8 1/2-foot-long statue was unveiled before the UCI-Utah State basketball game. The statue was created by New Mexico artist Billy Fitzgerald, who also designed UCLA's famous Bruin Bear mascot. Peter is one of the marquee photo spots for events, concerts, graduations and more!


UCI Men's Basketball Defeats UCLA, 91-90, December 28, 1988

Kevin Floyd takes an in-bound pass with five seconds left and drives the length of the court to score a game-winning layup, giving UCI a 91-90 victory over UCLA.


The Dalai Lama Speaks to 11,000+, April 16, 2004

His Holiness XIV Dalai Lama visited UCI and spoke in front of 11,000 people in two days about values, ethics and compassion.


A School Record 3,612 Fans Watch #1 UCI Men’s Volleyball Team beat #5 UCLA, 3-0, March 9, 2007

The 2007 Anteaters went on to win the program’s first-ever national championship in a season where the ‘Eaters garnered 4 AVCA All-Americans in David Smith ’07, Jayson Jablonsky ’07, Brian Thornton ’07 and Matt Webber ’07. Webber went on to become the Most Outstanding Player of the Championship match after defeating IPFW 3-1.


UCI Women's Basketball Upends Top Scoring Team in the Nation, January 19, 1997

Leticia Oseguera

Leticia Oseguera hit a baseline jumper at the buzzer to beat UC Santa Barbara, 67-65 in overtime. The Gauchos were the nation’s top scoring team at 85.0 points per game at the time.


#1 UCI Upends UCLA on the Road to it's 3rd National Championship in Men's Volleyball, April 28, 2012

UCI Men's Volleyball's 3rd National Championship in 2012

The #2-ranked UC Irvine Men’s Volleyball team took down UCLA 3-1 in the MPSF Tournament Quarterfinal to advance to the NCAA Men’s Volleyball D1-2 Tournament with the automatic bid. In the NCAA D1-2 Championship match, UCI upset #1 USC with a 3-0 sweep, ended by a Dan McDonnell ace for championship point to garner the program’s 3rd NCAA Championship. Carson Clark ’12 was awarded the Most Outstanding Player for the match.


President Jimmy Carter Speaks at Bren, May 3, 2007

President Jimmy Carter on the Bren Stage

Former President Jimmy Carter was invited by the UCI School of Social Sciences and spoke in front of 3,436. His visit was hosted by the Center for the Study of Democracy and the Model United Nations in association with the Center for Citizen Peace-Building and the Department of Political Science in the School of Social Sciences.


Bren Events Center Hosts Largest Dodgeball Game in the World, September 22, 2010

Guinness World Record Dodgeball Teams

UCI student-athletes joined student, staff and faculty in setting a Guinness World Record for the largest Dodgeball game with 1,745 participants, breaking the previous record of 1,198.


UCI Men's Basketball Wins Its First Big West Conference Title, March 1, 2001

Jerry Green scores 19 points as the Anteaters defeat Cal State Fullerton, 58-55, giving UCI its first-ever Big West Conference regular-season title.


USA Volleyball Cup Matches Against the Best in the World, 2014-15

From L to R: Carli Lloyd serves one up to #2 China; Alix Klineman on the attack vs. #3 Brazil; Matt Anderson (#1) swings away at #1 Brazil's block with 'Eater alumnus, Jayson Jablonsky (#16) looking on; Eater alumnus, David Smith (#20) fires a jump serve to #11 Iran.

The USA Volleyball Cup series feature the United States Men's and Women's National Teams in exhibition matches against the top teams in the world. The Women faced #3 Brazil on July 5, 2014, and #2 China on June 9, 2015. The Men took court against Iran, August 16, 2014, then #1 Brazil on September 4, 2015. Former UCI Men's Volleyball team members Ryan Ammerman '09, Carson Clark '12, Dan McDonnell '12, Jayson Jablonsky '07 and David Smith '07 were on the Men's rosters.


UCI Men's Volleyball Establishes a Record-High 21-Match Winning Streak, April 15, 2006

David Smith attacking for the Anteaters.

UC Irvine sweeps UC Santa Barbara to win UCI’s first MPSF championship in men’s volleyball and gave the team a school-record 21-match win streak.


UCI Men's Basketball Upends #16 UNLV, February 4, 1989

Ricky Butler (pictured) scored 25 points and Jeff Herdman 24 points as UCI takes down No. 16 UNLV, 99-98 for one of the greatest wins in UCI Men's Basketball history.


#3 UCI Defeats #7 UCSB in MPSF Quarterfinal, April 20, 2013

(Top) 'Eaters claim 4th National Championship. (Bottom-Left) Connor Hughes, 2013 NCAA D1-2 Men's Volleyball National Championship Most Outstanding Player. (Bottom-Right) Fourth National Championship Celebration.

The #3-ranked UC Irvine Men's Volleyball team battles back from being down 1-2 to #7-ranked UCSB in the MPSF Tournament Quarterfinal in a 5-set thriller. The win ensured an At-Large bid to the 2013 NCAA Men’s D1-2 Volleyball Tournament. The ‘Eaters rolled through sweep #1-ranked BYU for the program’s fourth National Championship in six years. Connor Hughes ’13 was named Most Outstanding Player for the match.


UCI Defeats Utah St. to Snap the Aggies' 26-game Winning Streak, January 31, 2006

Jerry Green scores 22 points and grabs 10 rebounds as UCI defeats Utah State, 56-51, before a crowd of 5,231 that stormed the court at game’s end. The win snapped Utah State’s 26-game, Big West winning streak.


UCI Medal Awards Dinner Held for the First Time, October 21, 2006

UCI Medal Awards Entertainment

The UCI Medal Awards Dinner, the campus’ largest fundraiser and one of Orange County’s premiere events, is held for the first time in the Bren Events Center. The university is built on the vision of these Medalists who have “…dared to think big and imagine the impossible, passing on an enduring spirit of creativity and innovation.” Medalist tributes have included Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners and industry leaders.


UC Irvine Hosts the 2008 NCAA D1-2 Men’s Volleyball Championship, May 1-3, 2008

The Bren Events Center hosted the 2008 NCAA Men's Volleyball D1-2 Tournament for the first time in the venue's history. The championship match featured #1-seed Penn St. who defeated #2-seed Pepperdine, 3-0 for the National Championship. The Nittany Lions were led by Matt Anderson who blasted 29 kills to become the Most Outstanding Player of the match.


Morrissey Performs in Back-to-Back Sold Out Crowds in the Bren, November 4 & 9, 2016

Morrissey crooning to his fans in the Bren

This iconic Brit-Pop star’s career spans back to the early-80s with the band, The Smiths. His musical popularity has remained strong over 3 decades which is evident in his concerts selling out in less than 3 minutes.


# 2 UCI Men's Volleyball Sweeps #1 Pepperdine to Move into 1st Place in the MPSF, April 11, 2009

UCI Men's Volleyball, 2009 NCAA D1-2 Men's Volleyball Champions

The No. 2 UC Irvine Men's Volleyball team swept No. 1 Pepperdine to move into a tie for 1st in the MPSF on April 11, 2009. The Anteaters then went on to capture their second National Championship in three years, with Ryan Ammerman receiving Most Outstanding Player in the Championship Match.


World Team Tennis Charity Event, October 11, 2004

The Bren Sporting The World Team Tennis Smash Hits Court

The World Team Tennis Smash Hits Charity Event for the Elton John Aids Foundation, hosted various celebrity figures including Sir Elton John, Billie Jean King, Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, Anna Kournikova. This star-studded event has raised over $15 million for local AIDS organizations since it's inception.


Kanye West Electrifies the Bren, December 5, 2005

Kanye West is a rapper, songwriter, record producer, fashion designer, and entrepreneur. West released his debut album "The College Dropout" in 2004 to widespread critical and commercial success. West is among the most acclaimed musicians of the 21st century, and is one of the best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 32 million albums and 100 million digital downloads worldwide. He has won a total of 21 Grammy Awards, making him one of the most awarded artists of all time and the most Grammy-awarded artist to have debuted in the 21st century.

Kanye West at the Bren


Kelly Clarkson performs in front of sold out crowd at the Bren, December 15, 2005

Kelly Clarkson is an American singer, songwriter, author and actress who rose to fame in 2002 after winning the first season of American Idol and has been referred to as the "Original American Idol" and the "Queen of Covers." She also became the runner-up of World Idol the following year. Her musical work has also gained her numerous accolades, including multiple #1 Billboard songs, three Grammy Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, twelve Billboard Music Awards, four American Music Awards, and two Academy of Country Music Awards.


Jerry Seinfeld Performs at the Bren, January 15, 1989 & November 2, 1990

Jerry Seinfeld, "Observational Comedian"

Jerry Seinfeld is an American comedian, actor, director, writer, and producer and is best known for portraying a semi-fictional version of himself in the sitcom, Seinfeld (1989–1998), which he co-created and co-wrote. In his stand-up comedy career, Seinfeld is known for specializing in observational comedy, often ranting about relationships and embarrassing social situations.


President Clinton Rallies Support, October 23, 2012

President Clinton with a "Rip 'Em Eaters!"

President Bill Clinton rallied a crowd of over 5,000 in the Bren to rally support for 5 Southern California Democrats. He was greeted by a loud ovation and a sea of cell phones capturing images and video of the former President.


Over Thirty-Five Years of Greek Songfest, December 15, 2016

UCI Greek Songfest has been one of UCI’s longest running traditions on campus for over thirty-five years where Greek organizations partner to perform renditions of Broadway shows. It is geared towards creating a more unified relationship with the student body, alumni and the surrounding communities.


The Goo-Goo Dolls Perform to Sell-Out Crowd, November 17, 1999

Goo Goo Dolls Autographed Bren Concert Poster
Goo Goo Dolls

The Goo Goo Dolls, an American rock band shared the stage with opening band, Tonic, to perform to a sold-out Bren Center crowd. Both artists still remain popular and on the charts of music today.


No Doubt Plays to Sell-Out crowd, October 31, 1996

No Doubt in The Bren

The popular local Orange County band, with lead singer Gwen Stefani, played in front of a sold-out crowd of 5,280. Early on No Doubt's musical style has been characterized as "Ska-Punk" but transformed into "Pop Rock/New Wave" music. No Doubt got their start in nearby Anaheim, CA and rocked out the Bren!


Maya Angelou Speaks at Bren, December 12, 2016

Maya Angelou

November 18, 1999 & November 1, 2001 – The Bren hosted Maya Angelou, the well-known poet, author, educator, actress and activist two different times with both visits drawing over 5,000 attendees. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years.

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou


John Legend Kicks Off 2008 Tour, December 11, 2016

April 3, 2007: John Legend performed in the Bren Events Center prior to the opening day of his 2008 tour with 4,655 in attendance, including former UCI Chancellor Michael Drake.

Legend is an American singer, songwriter, musician and actor who has won ten Grammy Awards, one Golden Globe Award, and one Academy Award. Legend's most recent accomplishments include a Billboard Hot 100 number-one single with "All of Me" in 2013. He also won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2015 for writing the song "Glory" from the film Selma.


Peter the Anteater's 50th Birthday, December 10, 2016

November 24th, 2015: Peter the Anteater, UCI's iconic mascot, received an impromptu 50th birthday party at the UCI Men's Basketball game during halftime, kicking off a season of personal 50th Birthday appearances throughout 2015-16!

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