Former UCLA basketball player and rising NBA star Jaime Jaquez Jr. was home last month for a unique fundraising event for his family’s namesake endowment fund, which will provide financial support for incoming freshman and transfer students at UCLA.
The Miami Heat rookie, who had played a close game with the Los Angeles Clippers just a day before, was joined at the Jan. 2 fundraiser by his sister, UCLA basketball player Gabriela Jaquez.
Launched by the UCLA Latino Alumni Association and UCLA Alumni Association, the Jaquez Family Scholarship Fund honors Jaime and Gabriela as standout Bruin athletes, as well as their parents and grandparents, all of whom have been strong proponents of public education, academic achievement and personal excellence. Last April, the two associations raised over $100,000 to endow the scholarship fund.
The Jan. 2 event, at which Jaime was the special guest, was hosted by Alicia Miñana de Lovelace, chair of The UCLA Foundation board of directors, and her husband, Rob Lovelace, at their Los Angeles home and raised nearly $35,000.
“It was a wonderful event because we were able to welcome people who perhaps had not attended a scholarship event of this kind,” said Miñana de Lovelace, who incorporated a fireside chat into the evening’s programming, giving Jaime and Gabriela the floor to answer questions about their experiences at UCLA, their philanthropy, their family’s legacy and the future of the scholarship fund.
Student recipients of other endowed scholarships through the UCLA Latino Alumni Association were in attendance, along with public figures such as California Assembly member Miguel Santiago, state Sen. Anthony Portantino and Aida Velasco Pérez, consul for political affairs and education at the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles. Martin Jarmond, UCLA’s Alice and Nahum Lainer Family Director of Athletics, and Cori Close, the Michael Price Family UCLA Head Women’s Basketball Coach, were also among the guests.
Cesar Pacheco Garcia, president of the UCLA Latino Alumni Association, said fundraising for the Jaquez scholarship fund has allowed the association to forge a strong relationship with the family and that there is mutual interest in continuing to partner on fundraising going forward.
“There is excitement around Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Gabriela Jaquez,” said Jennifer Mora, vice president of the association. Mora, who moderated the fireside chat with the players, said partnering with such a prominent Latino family has been a privilege — especially as the association increases its commitment to fundraising for scholarships and UCLA continues its efforts toward becoming a federally designated Hispanic–Serving Institution.
“The UCLA community is proud of the Jaquez family,” Mora said, “and it shows when they support the family’s scholarship.”