Laurie and Steven C. Gordon, whose philanthropic support and volunteer leadership have enriched UCLA for more than two decades, were honored Sept. 11 with the Fiat Lux Award.
The award, which recognizes distinguished or extraordinary service to the campus, was presented by UCLA Chancellor Gene Block during a ceremony at the chancellor’s residence.
“It gives me great pleasure to honor Laurie and Steven Gordon, two people who have been thoughtful and dedicated supporters of UCLA and our health system,” Block said. “We are fortunate to count the Gordons among our friends, and we thank them deeply for their leadership, advocacy and generosity.”
The couple’s philanthropic relationship with UCLA began in earnest in 2010, when they were determined to turn the pain of losing a family member into a positive contribution. Steven’s father had suffered from Parkinson’s disease and the couple wanted to support research that might help prevent others from experiencing Parkinson’s and other debilitating neurological conditions.
The Gordons began learning about neuroscience research at UCLA, getting to know faculty members and discovering where their support could make a difference. Then, after Laurie’s son Max died in 2013, finding a meaningful way to honor him became a priority for the couple.
In Max’s memory, the Gordons made a gift to UCLA in 2014 to create the Max Gray Fellowships in the Child and Adolescent Mood Disorders Program. The gift has enabled the program to fund 29 fellows to date and expand patient capacity.
With another gift from the Gordons, in 2018, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA established the UCLA Laurie and Steven Gordon Commitment to Cure Parkinson’s Disease, and the UCLA Neuroscience Research Building was renamed the Laurie and Steven C. Gordon Neuroscience Research Building. The gift also enabled UCLA to establish, in 2022, the Laurie and Steven C. Gordon Chair in Neurosciences; the endowed chair is currently held by Dr. Ming Guo.
Steven Gordon, the chairman and principal owner of Domino Realty since 1970, is a UCLA alumnus. He is chairman of the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center board of advisors, a member of the board of the UCLA Health System and a founding member of the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate. He was co-chair of the UCLA Centennial Campaign Cabinet and currently is a member of the UCLA Second Century Council.
Laurie Gordon, a former attorney for United Artists Communications and former vice president of Warner Bros. International Theatres, was president of the board of advisors of the Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA from July 2020 through June 2023.
During the award presentation, Dr. John Mazziotta, vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences and CEO of UCLA Health, saluted the couple. “From personal tragedy, you’ve created hope,” he said, “and from suffering, you’ve created solutions.”
The Gordons are the fourth recipients of the Fiat Lux Award, following Renee and Meyer Luskin in 2012, Arline and Henry Gluck in 2021, and Jane Semel in August.