February 23, 2009 – Dr. Seuss fans both on and off the UC San Diego campus will not want to miss the 105th birthday celebration in honor of the late Theodor Geisel —better known as Dr. Seuss. The festivities will begin at 11:50 a.m., March 2 at the foot of Library Walk in front of the Geisel Library building on the UC San Diego campus.
The party, which will feature a giant inflatable Cat in the Hat, will include free punch and cake. It is anticipated that approximately 2,000 pieces of cake will be served to mark the occasion. Audrey Geisel, widow of the beloved author, will be on hand to cut the first pieces of cake and will joined by UC San Diego Chancellor Marye Anne Fox and The Audrey Geisel University Librarian Brian E.C. Schottlaender in doling out cake and greeting party attendees.
Musical entertainment will be provided by The Teeny Tiny Pit Orchestra, which will wheel out their toy pianos at 11:45 a.m. and perform songs from The Cat in the Hat Songbook. At noon, the chimes atop Geisel Library will ring out a new tune written especially for this occasion. The piece, written by UCSD alumnus Kirk Wang, was commissioned by the UCSD Arts Library and University Carillonneur Scott Paulson to celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday.
UC San Diego's Geisel Library is named in honor of the famed author who died in La Jolla in 1991, and his widow, Audrey Geisel. UC San Diego received Geisel's collection of drawings, notebooks and other memorabilia following his death, and four years later Audrey Geisel made a substantial donation to support the university's libraries. In 2007, Geisel made a $1 million gift to UCSD Libraries to establish San Diego's first named university librarianship, held by Schottlaender.
Preceding the March 2 cake cutting, Chancellor Fox will read from the Dr. Seuss canon to second graders at La Jolla Elementary School at 9:30 a.m. to celebrate both the Dr. Seuss birthday and the national Read Across America Day.
UC San Diego's Mandeville Special Collections Library is the main repository in the nation for the original works of Dr. Seuss. The approximately 10,000 items in the Dr. Seuss collection, which includes original drawings, manuscript drafts, books, notebooks, photographs and memorabilia, document the full range of Theodor Seuss Geisel's creative achievements, beginning in 1919 with his high school activities and ending with his death in 1991.
Ranked among the nation's top academic research libraries, the UC San Diego Libraries play an integral role in advancing and supporting the university's research, teaching, and public service missions. As the intellectual heart of the UC San Diego campus, the nine university libraries provide access to more than 7 million digital and print volumes, journals, and multimedia materials to meet the knowledge and information needs of faculty, students, and members of the public. Each day, more than 7,300 patrons visit one of the UCSD libraries and more than 87,000 people access library resources through the UCSD Libraries main Web site.