The campus will be in a festive mood Friday, May 16, and Saturday, May 17, as special events celebrate the start of The Centennial Campaign for UCLA, a $4.2 billion fundraising effort timed to conclude with UCLA’s 100th anniversary in 2019.
Amid banners hung across campus earlier this week, students, staff and faculty members will converge on Bruin Plaza on Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to learn more about the campaign and explore how they can participate. Those attending will receive a complimentary tote bag while supplies last. In partnership with the UCLA Fund’s Thank UCLA Day, the campus’s largest student event celebrating UCLA and philanthropy, t-shirts and tank tops will be available for a small donation, including a contribution to a canned food or a blood drive, for example. Students, staff and faculty will enjoy student performances on stage, carnival games and a relaxation station; meet therapy dogs; and learn about how to support UCLA.
At the conclusion of Spring Sing, which will be held in Pauley Pavilion beginning at 8 p.m. and concluding around 11:30 p.m., attendees — and others who may be on campus at that time — are invited to gather in Dickson Plaza to view a special Centennial Campaign sound and light show projected onto UCLA’s historic Royce Hall. An earlier presentation of the show celebrating UCLA’s past and future is set for 9 p.m. Friday.
On Saturday, the UCLA Alumni Association will welcome a variety of alumni-affiliated groups to campus to its Alumni Affinity Reunion, including the Alumni Scholars Club, the Student Alumni Association, veterans, club sports, athletic teams and the Faculty Women’s Club, among others. Registration begins at 12:45 p.m., with afternoon events starting at 1:15 p.m.
During an evening program beginning at 6:30 p.m. in Royce Hall, five members of the Bruin family will be recognized as forces for positive change.
Following the ceremony, guests will be entertained on Royce Quad with the special projection show, refreshments and music.
Five honorees in the spotlight
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who earned a B.A. in economics and history in 1971 and a master’s degree in history in 1972 from UCLA, will be honored for his long-standing commitment to public service. After 20 years on the county Board of Supervisors, term limits require him to leave office later this year. Spanning four decades, Yaroslavky’s career in public service began with his election to Los Angeles City Council at age 26. He has been an advocate for the environment, public transportation, the arts, health care and the city’s homeless population.
Bruin alumna Angela Sanchez, who earned a B.A. in history in 2013 and is currently a first-year master’s student in UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, has been a voice for homeless children striving to succeed academically. A former homeless student herself, Sanchez funded her education with support from generous donors. In addition, she founded the UCLA chapter of School on Wheels, a nonprofit organization that tutors homeless K-12 students living in Los Angeles. While studying at UCLA, Sanchez received a scholarship from the Donald A. Strauss Foundation to support School on Wheels and earned a UCLA Distinguished Senior Award, a Carey McWilliams Award for Scholarly Distinction and a Chancellor’s Service Award, among other honors.
United States Army veteran and 2008 political science graduate Anthony Allman is being honored for improving military veterans’ lives on and off campus. Allman enrolled at UCLA following his deployment to Kuwait from 2001-2003 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After returning to civilian life and enrolling as an undergraduate in political science, Allman established the Military Veterans Organization at UCLA, led an effort to give veterans priority enrollment, increased access to additional student services such as the Academic Advancement Program and spearheaded the creation of a Veterans Resource Office on campus. He also facilitated the introduction of the annual Entrepreneurship Boot Camp for Veterans with Disabilities at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. More recently, he developed a mobile proximity app designed to connect veterans with peer-to-peer networks and service providers to help vets returning to civilian life counter feelings of isolation, depression and disconnectedness.
Ericka Jones, a UCLA world arts and culture major scheduled to graduate in 2015, is being honored for her ability to use the power of words to confront current issues, activate hearts and minds, and create important change in the world. The winner of numerous oratory competitions, including several at UCLA, Jones is the recipient of a prestigious Posse Scholarship and is both a UCLA VIP Scholar and a Coca-Cola Scholar. In addition, Jones has worked as a resident assistant in the Office of Residential Life for the past two years and is heavily involved in the arts and dance. She plans to pursue a career in international relations following her graduation from UCLA.
Former Bruin football offensive lineman Nick Ekbatani, who earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2009, is being recognized for demonstrating courage and resilience in the face of adversity. In summer 2012, he was hit by a taxi while riding his motorcycle. He was left with head trauma and multiple compound fractures, and given a 10 percent chance of survival. He lost his left leg below the knee and decided that he would use his disability to motivate himself to pursue a new path in life. The former ESPN marketing coordinator-turned-motivational speaker is currently pursuing an M.B.A. In addition, he mentors other amputees and remains an athlete and a fierce competitor. He has taken up boxing and sprinting, and hopes to one day compete for the U.S at the Paralympic Games.