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Graduate Student Prize Awarded


Founding UC Riverside Faculty Member Honored With Permanent Memorial

Mary and Randolph T. Wedding Endowed an Annual Prize for Graduate Students

(April 30, 2004)

Chancellor France Cordova stands by the monument. Justin Roberts, Biochemistry Department chairman, is at right. Photo by Steve WalagEnlarge

Chancellor France Cordova stands by the monument. Justin Roberts, Biochemistry Department chairman, is at right. Photo by Steve Walag

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) -- The UC Riverside Department of Biochemistry, with help from Chancellor France A. Córdova, put a new face on campus — the bronzed face of Professor Randolph T. Wedding.

A bronze plaque in memory of Prof. Wedding, one of UCR’s founding faculty members, was unveiled Saturday morning, April 24, in the courtyard between Boyce and Webber Halls in a ceremony for family, campus colleagues and friends.

The renowned plant biochemist died in 1995, at the age of 71. Professor Wedding and his wife, Mary, started a fund to support graduate students. This important cause got a tremendous boost when their children, Randolph Wedding and Sheila O’Brien, donated their parent’s Riverside home to UCR, with proceeds creating an endowed scholarship fund, known as the Mary and Randolph T. Wedding Graduate Student Prize, to be awarded annually.

Chancellor Córdova presented a certificate and $1,500 to the first prizewinner, Zhenyu Zhang, a Ph.D. candidate. Under the direction of Professor Stephan Wilkens, Zhenyu determined the structure of a molecular pump using the techniques of electron microscopy and computerized image reconstruction. This research has significant applications in medicine and agriculture.

Prof. Wedding was known both for his research on enzymes and their roles in the metabolism of plants and for his administrative leadership at UCR. He came to the Citrus Experiment Station in 1950 as a researcher and when the undergraduate campus opened in 1954, he became a founding faculty member. He helped shape what became the Department of Biochemistry and the graduate program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, in which faculty from many departments across UCR now participate. He played a critical role in the Academic Senate, chairing UC Academic Council in 1968-9 and, between 1978 and 1982, serving as Chairman of UC Riverside’s Academic Senate. His leadership at UCR and throughout UC was evident in his key role in securing the design and funding for Boyce Hall, the department’s headquarters.
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Prizewinner Zhenyu Zhang chats with benefactor Randoph Wedding, Professor Wedding's son. Photo by Steve WalagEnlarge


Prizewinner Zhenyu Zhang chats with benefactor Randoph Wedding, Professor Wedding's son. Photo by Steve Walag

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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