Date published: 12/15/2011

On October 25, 2011, the Department hosted a festive reception to celebrate the naming of Franz Hall 3461 in honor of Professors Emeritus Wendell Jeffrey and Bernice Wenzel.

On October 25, 2011, the Department hosted a festive reception to celebrate the naming of Franz Hall 3461 in honor of Professors Emeritus Wendell Jeffrey and Bernice Wenzel.  The naming of this elegant conference room, now the Wendell Jeffrey and Bernice Wenzel Conference Room, honors Professors Jeffrey and Wenzel for 56 years of dedicated service and support, not only to the Department of Psychology, but also, more broadly, to all aspects of the University’s mission.

Professor Bruce Baker, Department Chair, opened the ceremony by welcoming those in attendance, which included the current Dean of the Division of Life Sciences, Victoria Sork, the two prior Deans of the Division, Fred Eiserling and Emil Reisler, and Chancellor Emeritus Charles Young, who became friends with and came to rely on Professors Jeffrey and Wenzel during the 29 years he led the University.   

Professor Baker then introduced Professor Robert Bjork, Chair of the Committee on the Jeffrey Lecture on Cognitive Neuroscience, who acted as master of ceremonies for the event.  Professor Bjork expressed the Department’s gratitude to Professors Jeffrey and Wenzel for their service and generosity, which includes having endowed the Wendell Jeffrey and Bernice Wenzel Term Chair in Behavioral Neuroscience and providing funds for the Jeffrey Lecture in Cognitive Neuroscience.  Professor Bjork then read tributes to the honorees from Professor Russell Poldrack, the first recipient of the Jeffrey/Wenzel Term Chair, who is now the Director of the Imaging Research Center at the University of Texas, and from Professor Rochel Gelman, who is now the Co-director of the Center for Cognitive Science at Rutgers University.  Professor Poldrack expressed his admiration to Professors Jeffrey and Wenzel and his gratitude for the way the Jeffrey/Wenzel Chair advanced his research career.  Professor Gelman spoke in very warm terms of what Professors Jeffrey and Wenzel had meant to her, personally as well and professionally, and she also spoke for the many other students of Wendell Jeffrey who have gone on to national and international prominence in Developmental Psychology. 

Professor Bjork then introduced six individuals who had been asked to speak at the reception: Assistant Professor Naomi Eisenberger, the current holder of the Jeffrey/Wenzel Term Chair; Professor Jim Stigler, the current chair of the Department’s Developmental Psychology Area; Dean Victoria Sork; Chancellor Charles Young; Former Dean Fred Eiserling; and Former Dean Emil Reisler.  Their comments provided a warm and impressive picture of how important Professors Jeffrey and Wenzel have been to the research and teaching mission of the University, the Department, and, especially, to Developmental Psychology at UCLA.  Chancellor Young mentioned a sentiment that was broadly shared at the reception—that “Jeff and Bernice” are a wonderful team, that it is difficult to think of one without thinking of the other, and that it is as a team, as well as individually, that they have been so important to the University. 

The Wendell Jeffrey and Bernice Wenzel Conference Room, which provides an elegant setting for important meetings, also houses a library of volumes written or edited by Psychology Department faculty members.  With this dedication it will also house memorabilia from the careers and contributions of Professors Jeffrey and Wenzel, including resolutions from the City of Los Angeles.

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