UCLA Chancellor Gene Block will be filling in Friday as the keynote speaker during UCLA College commencement ceremonies, replacing actress Mayim Bialik, who withdrew amid a labor dispute between the university and service workers.
Block will speak in place of Bialik, a UCLA grad best known for her role as neurobiologist Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory.” Bialik received a bachelor of science degree in neuroscience with a minor in Hebrew and Jewish studies from UCLA in 2000 and a doctorate in neuroscience from UCLA in 2007.
Although she had been announced previously as the UCLA College commencement speaker, she withdrew in late May, responding to a call from the union representing University of California service workers amid a labor dispute.
“These issues are near and dear to my heart, especially since the LAUSD teachers’ union helped support my family for my entire young life,” Bialik said in a statement released by the university. “I send deepest regrets to the UCLA community and I hope to be able to join you soon to celebrate your accomplishments.”
Block will speak in Bialik’s place at both the 2 and 7 p.m. commencement ceremonies at Pauley Pavilion.
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