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UC Merced Celebrates Official Dedication of the Lakireddy Grand Ballroom

January 17, 2023
Dr. Vikram and Priya Lakireddy pose for a photo.
An event to celebrate the official dedication of the Dr. Vikram and Priya Lakireddy Grand Ballroom was held on Dec. 9, 2022.

Longtime UC Merced supporters Dr. Vikram and Priya Lakireddy were recently honored as part of an intimate event to mark the official dedication of the campus ballroom bearing their names.

The Dr. Vikram and Priya Lakireddy Grand Ballroom, which anchors the UC Merced Conference Center, was named in recognition of the donors' exceptional generosity in supporting the university's landmark Merced 2020 Project. In addition to the Lakireddy family, several prominent members of the university and local community attended the reception, including event host and UC Merced Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz and new California State Assemblymember Esmeralda Soria.

"The commitment of the Lakireddy family to UC Merced is inspiring and continues to help grow the university's presence in the Central Valley," Muñoz said. "Dr. and Mrs. Lakireddy have made it a priority to improve our community through their gifts of time, counsel and generosity, and the ballroom represents all these extraordinary qualities."

"Vikram and I care deeply about Merced and our local community," said Priya Lakireddy, who currently serves as an assistant regional director in the UC Merced Office of Research and Economic Development as well as the staff advisor to the University of California Regents. "We are gratified that the grand ballroom has provided a welcoming and engaging space to connect UC Merced with people from throughout our region."

"Our family has long championed UC Merced's teaching, research and public-service mission," said Dr. Vikram Lakireddy, a UC Merced Foundation Trustee and local cardiologist. "Supporting the university is tremendously important to us, especially its work to improve lives in the Central Valley."

The Dr. Vikram and Priya Lakireddy Grand Ballroom has been the site of several high-profile community events since it opened, including the event "Illuminate," co-chaired by Mrs. Lakireddy, launching Boldly Forward, the first comprehensive fundraising campaign in UC Merced's history.

"UC Merced is what it is today because of the unwavering support of the Lakireddy family," said Vice Chancellor for External Relations Edward Klotzbier. "Their many contributions to the campus, including their philanthropic leadership in naming the grand ballroom, is a testament to their dedication and long-standing advocacy in support of the people of UC Merced and our larger community."