A Century of Protest


The sight is familiar. Thousands of UCLA students gather outside Royce Hall. Some make speeches. Others clash with police. But this is no flashback to the 1960s. It’s Oct. 31, 1934. Provost Ernest Carroll Moore has suspended five students, including the student body president, for “Communistic activities.”

All of the students suspended were reinstated. But Moore, one of UCLA’s founding fathers, told the press the campus was one of the “worst hotbeds of campus Communism in America.” Soon that phrase and “little red schoolhouse” were common labels for UCLA.

The 1934 demonstration may have been the first big protest recorded on campus, but it was by no means the last. Through the decades, Bruins have taken stands on local, national and international issues. Here are some of the causes that sparked passions and protests.

’40s and ’50s: War, Internment and Communism Again

World War II united the campus. But the ban against Japanese-American students did not go unremarked. In recapping the 1941–42 school year, Bruin editors proclaimed their Nisei classmates “Gone … But Not Forgotten.”

After the war, the preoccupation with Communists on campus resumed. The UC Regents required faculty to declare in writing “I am not a member of the Communist Party.” A Daily Bruin editorial objected: “It is a slap in the face of those who have devoted their lives to scholarship, and then have to submit to such a farce as signing a ‘loyalty oath’ to continue teaching.” The courts ruled against the oath.

UCLA Film and Television Archive
George Takei at a 1971 protest about nuclear testing in the Aleutian Islands.

’60s and ’70s: Vietnam War and Civil Rights

The Vietnam War brought draft protests, antiwar sit-ins and demonstrations against the ROTC and Dow Chemical recruiters. Students turned out to hear Martin Luther King Jr. (1965) and César Chávez (1972). Two African-American students were shot and killed on campus. Angela Davis, hired to teach philosophy, was fired by the Regents over the objection of Chancellor Charles E. Young.

A violent protest followed the May 1970 Kent State shootings. With the campus shut down, the Daily Bruin did not publish. A Los Angeles Times headline trumpeted: “UCLA Emergency.” More protests followed in May 1972.

’80s and ’90s: Anti-Apartheid, Baby Formula Boycott, Props. 187 and 209, Chicana/o Studies

UCLA students urged the Regents to divest from apartheid South Africa. Public health students and faculty championed the Nestle boycott protesting baby formula marketing in developing countries. Students rallied against two California propositions: 187, establishing citizenship screening, and 209, ending affirmative action. Prop. 187 was approved but then ruled unconstitutional four years later. Prop. 209 is still in force.

Shortly after César Chávez died in 1993, UCLA announced plans to end Chicana/o studies. Weeks of protest culminated in students declaring a hunger strike that ended with the creation of the César E. Chávez Center for Interdisciplinary Instruction in Chicana and Chicano Studies.

’00s and ’10s: Taser, Tuition, Racial Slurs and DACA

In the first decade of the new century, campus police tasered a student in Powell Library and the Regents raised tuition by almost a third. Student protests followed both. 2011 brought the “Asians in the Library” video. Most recently, students and alumni have rallied in support of DACA.

The issues change, the alliances change. But the passion and the protests persist.

A Volleyball Legacy


Amanda Marsalis

The late Jim Murray, Pulitzer Prize–winning sportswriter for the Los Angeles Times, once wrote: “Al Scates?! Precisely. The one and only. The man who is to volleyball what [John] Wooden was to basketball, [Red] Sanders was to football, Napoleon to artillery … ”

Who could argue? In addition to being the most successful and longest-serving collegiate volleyball coach in the history of the game, Al Scates ’61, M.S. ’62 is widely recognized as one of the country’s foremost volleyball authorities. When he retired on June 30, 2012 — after 50 unparalleled years of service — his nation-leading Division I record of more than 1,200 victories had culminated in 19 NCAA national championships, two USVBA national championships and 24 conference titles.

A six-time National Coach of the Year, Scates coached 54 NCAA All-Americans, 44 U.S. National Team members, 27 Olympians and seven collegiate Players of the Year. Some of the greatest names in U.S. volleyball flourished under his tutelage, including Karch Kiraly ’83, Sinjin Smith ’87, Denny Cline ’77 and Kirk Kilgour ’72.

Strangely enough, Scates hadn’t planned on a career in volleyball. His first competitive foray into the sport occurred when he was attending Santa Monica College, where his football coach (who was also the volleyball coach) required all his players to try out for the volleyball team. Scates tried out — and was cut after five minutes.

Undeterred, he started going to Santa Monica State Beach, where he watched, learned and played as much as possible, and soon was one of the best players on the beach. Scates transferred to UCLA and joined the volleyball team in 1959, serving as captain in 1960 and 1961.

In 1963, Scates received a yearly budget of $100 to serve as the part-time men’s volleyball coach at UCLA, where he won his first USVBA national championship two years later. By the time Scates was named UCLA’s full-time coach in 1978, the dynasty was well under way — and collegiate volleyball would never be the same again.

Nothing Ventured …


Where to begin to describe the impact of UCLA’s entrepreneurial ecosystem? One could note that in 2017, the Milken Institute ranked UCLA No. 1 for the number of companies launched from campus research. Or that UCLA-developed technology launched 24 start-ups during the 2016–2017 fiscal year alone. Or maybe just tick off the names of countless companies founded by entrepreneurs with a UCLA connection: BlackRock. Sirius XM. The Honest Company. Blizzard Entertainment. The Bouqs Company. Veggie Grill.

What’s striking is the wide variety of companies on the list. They are online and in your local mall. They’re in every sector: tech, food services, health care, retail. What they share is their aim to make a difference.

Take the story of retired U.S. Marine Special Operations Officer Derek Herrera E.M.B.A. ’15. While serving in Afghanistan in 2012, he was shot in battle and became paralyzed from the chest down. Returning to the U.S., he enrolled at UCLA Anderson School of Management and became an entrepreneur out of personal necessity — he had a problem to solve. Today, Herrera is founder and chief technology officer of Spinal Singularity, a medical device company that developed a catheter for individuals with spinal injuries. “This device is a small step in a bigger vision,” Herrera says. “And that’s to change the entire narrative around spinal cord injury.”

On the lighter side, Time magazine called Halo Top — the low-calorie, protein-infused ice cream — one of the “best inventions of 2017” after the dessert beat out Häagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s to become the best-selling grocery store pint in the country. The company was founded by Justin Woolverton ’05, an attorney-turned-entrepreneur. “Food to me is a drug — in fact, the most important drug we take,” Woolverton says. “It affects everything. For people like me who care deeply about what we put into our bodies, there weren’t enough products like Halo Top.”

Lo and Behold


Kleinrock Internet Heritage Archive
The front panel of the first IMP at the opening of the Kleinrock Internet Heritage Site and Archive.

On Oct. 29, 1969, UCLA Distinguished Professor of Computer Science Leonard Kleinrock and student programmer Charley Kline ’70, M.S. ’71, Ph.D. ’80 gave birth to the Internet. UCLA was the first “node” on the ARPANET, a research network that was funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense. At 10:30 p.m., in 3420 Boelter Hall, the two men attempted to connect to a computer at Stanford Research Institute, the second node. If they could type LOG, they were in. They sent “L” and “O,” but the SRI computer crashed before the “G.” “The first message ever on the ARPANET/ Internet was ‘LO,’ as in ‘lo and behold,’” Kleinrock says. “We didn’t plan it, but we couldn’t have come up with a better message: short and prophetic.”

From that beginning, the Internet spread across the globe, upending technology, culture and human behavior. Kleinrock, who pioneered theories that undergird the Internet, trained a cadre of graduate students in a collegial environment.

UCLA researchers stress-tested early networks and explored the wireless world. Major companies still mine hundreds of UCLA-developed papers on topics such as enhanced efficiency of Internet protocols. The late Professor Mario Gerla M.S. ’70, Ph.D. ’73, an ARPANET pioneer, worked on wired and wireless networks as director of UCLA’s Center for Autonomous Intelligent Networks and the Network Research Lab.

Recently, Kleinrock established the UCLA Connection Lab, where researchers examine anything related to connectivity. Professor Lixia Zhang is currently investigating named data networks, a potentially more efficient way to find data on the Internet.

Next fall, luminaries from the Internet world will gather at UCLA to mark the 50th anniversary of the Internet’s birth. “The vigor, the energy, the talent and drive are still well-established here, but we’re part of a much larger culture now, which is the nature of the Internet,” Kleinrock says. “You reach out across the world.”

Big Scores


Toy Story and Titanic are among films that have been scored by Bruins.
Toy Story and Titanic are among films that have been scored by Bruins.

Jaws. Star Wars. Titanic. With credits like these, it’s not an exaggeration to say that John Williams, Randy Newman and James Horner composed much of the soundtrack to modern cinema. Their work ranges from animated movies to adventure blockbusters to period dramas, but they all share one common starting point: UCLA.

John Williams studied composition at UCLA before beginning a career that has spanned more than 100 films. One creative partnership leaves an especially indelible mark: his work with Steven Spielberg, with whom Williams earned Academy Awards for Jaws, E.T. and Schindler’s List. His work has garnered an additional 45 nominations for movies ranging from Home Alone to the Indiana Jones and Star Wars films.

Randy Newman hails from a family of film composers. Three of his uncles worked as composers in ’40s and ’50s Hollywood, including Alfred Newman, winner of nine Academy Awards. Randy Newman began writing his own songs professionally when he was 17, and he pursued a bachelor’s degree in music at UCLA before leaving school just a few credits shy of a degree to focus on his own music. In the decades that followed, Newman created a satirical style of pop music all his own (including the anthemic “I Love L.A.”), influencing generations of songwriters and performers along the way.

In 1981, Newman returned to his family’s musical legacy, writing the score for the film Ragtime. It would be the first of 23 film scores, earning him 20 Academy Award nominations for iconic songs including “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story.

The late James Horner M.A. ’76 studied with faculty member Paul Chihara in the 1970s before becoming one of Hollywood’s most sought-after composers. Acclaimed for his lush orchestrations featured in Field of Dreams, Avatar and A Beautiful Mind, Horner won double Oscars for scoring Titanic and co-writing “My Heart Will Go On” with Celine Dion.

Health Care Near Home


UCLA has long provided high-quality health care. But until recently, seeing a UCLA doctor meant trekking to Westwood or Santa Monica.

Today, the vast majority of those who see a UCLA Health provider do so practically in their own backyards, visiting one of the more than 170 UCLA Health medical practices throughout Southern California. Together, these community clinics offer primary and specialty care, mental health services, outpatient surgery, imaging and urgent care, often in combination. They cover a wide geographic swath — from Laguna Hills northward to Ventura, and from the beach eastward to the San Gabriel Valley. More than half a million people make some 2.5 million outpatient clinic visits each year.

It all started in 2012, with the opening of a primary and specialty care office in Westlake Village as part of an effort by the UCLA Health system to become more accessible. The growth has been rapid in the seven years since. Today, around 70 percent of new primary care patients see their UCLA doctor in their own community — a statistic all the more impressive considering that many of the clinics opened their doors in just the last couple of years.

The community clinics are staffed by providers who are members of UCLA’s clinical faculty — connected to the latest research advances and part of a network of experts with whom they can consult, just as they would if they were commuting to the Westside. When needed, they can refer their patients to the UCLA Health hospitals in Westwood and Santa Monica for more specialized services or clinical trials. For their patients, the appeal is obvious — access to UCLA-level care without leaving the neighborhood, and with easier parking to boot.

Beyond Springfield


Amanda Friedman
Nancy Cartwright shares a warm moment with Bart Simpson, the character she has voiced for 30 years.

For UCLA undergraduates, The Simpsons are like the sun or an evening breeze — elemental aspects of existence. The show, currently in its 30th season on FOX, has always just been there, ubiquitous, with new episodes airing and reruns running on a perpetual loop on cable and streaming services.

What they might not realize is UCLA’s connection to one of the most enduring and influential shows in broadcast history. How influential? From catch phrases entering the cultural lexicon to the elevation of animation as a popular art form; from outraging politicians to the creation of a seamless combination of sophisticated humor with a common man’s voice not heard since Mark Twain, The Simpsons’ impact on culture is incalculable.

The Springfield-Westwood connection starts with the show’s star: Nancy Cartwright ’81, who has voiced Bart, the series’ original breakout character, since Day One. “When I watch the show, I just become a fan,” says Cartwright, who voices several other Simpsons characters as well. “I dig it for what it is.”

David Silverman ’79, M.F.A. ’83, who studied animation at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television (TFT), directed The Simpsons Movie. He called the experience the fulfillment of a childhood dream.

Speaking of TFT, Matt Groening, the award-winning creator of The Simpsons himself, in 2012 pledged $500,000 to establish the Matt Groening Endowed Chair in Animation at UCLA TFT.

The Simpsons-UCLA connection extends beyond Springfield’s animated borders. Patrick Meighan ’95, co-executive producer, story editor and writer for Family Guy, penned the Simpsons-Family Guy crossover. “The episode was a love letter to The Simpsons,” Meighan says. “It’s a very self-deprecating story, an acknowledgment that without The Simpsons, there would be no Family Guy.”

Justice for All


Arthur Ashe
UCLA Athletics
Arthur Ashe

Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison. While there, he read tennis great Arthur Ashe’s three-volume treatise on African-American athletes, A Hard Road to Glory. When Mandela was released, he declared Ashe ’66 to be the American he most wanted to meet. The two became friends and fellow activists, united in the fight against apartheid and for freedom for all.

Born in Virginia, Ashe learned tennis on segregated courts. He relocated to St. Louis in search of better competition and excelled, catching the eye of UCLA tennis coach J.D. Morgan ’41. He then headed to Westwood to play tennis and earn his degree. Today, a person could throw a tennis ball from the steps of the UCLA Morgan Intercollegiate Athletics Center to the entrance of the Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center.

Ashe enjoyed a successful professional career as well. He made the finals of seven major championships, winning five, including a 1975 match at Wimbledon, where he defeated fellow Bruin Jimmy Connors. He was the first African-American man to win Wimbledon, the Australian Open and the U.S. Open, and the first to be ranked the No. 1 player in the world.

Ashe’s activism defied convention. He once said that “being black” was his greatest burden, not racism or coping with AIDS. He stood alongside Mandela in the fight against South African apartheid, but was taken to task for playing matches in the segregated country. He recognized the paradox of being a black American and also “a have.”

Still, Ashe fought for justice for African Americans, served as spokesman for the American Heart Association, established tennis and educational programs throughout the U.S. and advocated for AIDS/HIV awareness at a time when the illness was misunderstood by most. In 1992, he was arrested outside the White House during a protest against U.S. policies toward Haitian refugees.

Though he chafed under the expectations put upon him, Ashe is best remembered for his impact on others.

“Spiritual nourishment is as important as physical or intellectual nourishment,” he wrote. “Do not beg God for favors. Instead, ask God for the wisdom to know what is right, what God wants done, and the will to do it.”

Urban Understanding


CityLAB’s scope includes both design and state policy.

There may be no subject matter as multidisciplinary as the city. A mix of social sciences, engineering, design, politics, history, technology and more, the city resists easy comprehension. To try to reconcile this complexity, UCLA Architecture Professor Dana Cuff founded cityLAB, a research and experimental laboratory that considers the city from across the academic spectrum and civil society to take on the biggest challenges facing urban areas around the world. Through a mix of scholarly research, design studio problem-solving and speculative proposals, cityLAB thinks deeply about — and tries to shape — the 21st-century city. Past projects have included a complete rethink of the design of Westwood Village that imagined a future with fewer cars and more street life, and an architectural exploration of the ways evolving notions of work may affect physical business hubs like downtown L.A. and Century City. Since its founding in 2006, a major cityLAB focus has been addressing L.A.’s housing shortage by building additional units in backyards, and years of research were recently adapted into legislation that eases restrictions on the building of backyard homes across California. More than just a think tank, cityLAB bridges academics and action. “We bring the force of the university to bear on the city,” says Cuff.