The trip will be her fourth to Tucson since she was transferred to a rehabilitation hospital in Houston days after the Jan. 8, 2011, shooting, the Los Angeles Times reported. She is now living with her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, in Houston and continuing rehab.
"Congresswoman Giffords wanted to be back in Tucson for this very emotional weekend," Pia Carusone, Giffords' chief of staff, said Wednesday in an e-mail. "She felt it was important to be in her hometown with her family, staff members and a few close friends."
Giffords, D-Ariz., was holding a meet-and-greet session outside a Tucson supermarket when Jared Loughner, a community college dropout, sprayed the gathering with gunfire.
Six people, including a 9-year-old girl, a federal judge and a member of Giffords' staff, were killed and 14 injured.
The vigil at the University of Arizona is one of a number of memorial events planned for this weekend. Ron Barber, Giffords' district director, is scheduled to lead "Reflections: Honoring the Lives of the Jan. 8 Shooting Victims."
Loughner has been found unfit to stand trial. He is being held in a federal prison hospital.