Benefactors and lifelong friends of UCLA, a judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court and a cardiologist are among the Bruins being honored by the UCLA Alumni Association for their achievements, leadership and community service.
The UCLA Awards ceremony will be held virtually on May 22, and it is open to all alumni, staff and members of the Bruin community.
“Capping off hundreds of alumni events each year are the UCLA Awards in the spring,” said Julie Sina, UCLA’s associate vice chancellor for alumni affairs. “A perfect time to celebrate our amazing alumni leaders, the UCLA Awards bring such joy and pride to our entire UCLA community. The alumni and network organizations we honor spotlight UCLA’s world-class impact and contributions to societies around the globe.”
The Edward A. Dickson Alumni of the Year will be presented to Meyer and Renee Luskin, who have helped shaped UCLA for nine decades. Their contributions include a generous gift to UCLA’s school of public affairs, which was officially named the UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin School of Public Affairs in 2011, and the establishment of the UCLA Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy and the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation. The UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center, which opened in 2016 in the heart of campus, provides a space for people to come together and explore new ideas. In 2015, Meyer Luskin established a legal ethics program at the UCLA School of Law. And in 2011, the Luskins created the Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership, a lecture series to share knowledge and foster dialogue among scholars, leaders in government and business, and the greater Los Angeles community. Their scholarship and generosity have benefitted students, families, communities and institutions.
Meyer Luskin attended UCLA on a scholarship and earned his bachelor’s degree in economics in 1949, after a break for military service during World War II. Renee Luskin earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1953. The Luskins received the UCLA Medal, the university’s highest honor, in 2019. At the reception, held at the conference center bearing their names, Chancellor Gene Block said, “What drives Meyer and Renee is precisely what drives UCLA: a desire to solve society’s biggest challenges and to create opportunity for all through education and research.”
Judge Kevin Brazile, who earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1980 and a law degree in 1983, is the recipient of the UCLA Award for Public Service. Brazile’s life reflects a series of firsts: He was the first in his family to graduate from college and law school, and he was the first African American to be the division chief of the General Litigation Division of the Los Angeles County Counsel and presiding judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court. From 1984–2002, Brazile was a civil trial attorney for the counsel’s office, where he handled personal injury, employment discrimination and federal civil rights litigation. He has argued cases before the Ninth Circuit and the California courts of appeal. He was the last member of the Los Angeles County Counsel to successfully argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, where he received a unanimous judgment in his favor.
The UCLA Award for Community Service is presented to Wilfred “Bill” Coggins for his dedication to the well-being of his community. Coggins, who earned his master of social work degree in 1955, was the executive director of the Kaiser Permanente Watts Counseling and Learning Center, which helps families achieve academic and personal success for free or at minimal cost, whether or not they are Kaiser Permanente members. Coggins, a Fulbright Scholar at the Tavistock Clinic in London, was hired by Kaiser Permanente in South Los Angeles to develop a program that would meet the social and emotional needs of the Watts neighborhood. Through Coggins’ leadership, the center became an essential mental health and educational resource as well as a leading institution in community service. In May 2018, Coggins received a lifetime achievement award from the Luskin School’s department of social welfare.
Dr. Alan Fogelman, an academic cardiologist who has devoted his career to UCLA, is the recipient of the UCLA Award for Professional Achievement. Fogelman, who graduated from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, served his internship, residency, chief residency in internal medicine and fellowship in cardiology at UCLA. He joined the medical school faculty in 1973, and he has held critical administrative positions, including director of the atherosclerosis research unit, chief of the cardiology division and chair of the department of medicine. Fogelman, UCLA’s Castera Professor of Cardiology, is the co-founder of UCLA’s Specialty Training and Advanced Research Program, which has helped more than 190 graduates launch their careers. Among his many honors, Fogelman received a distinguished achievement award from the American Heart Association and the Sherman M. Mellinkoff Faculty Award, the highest honor bestowed by the medical school.
Johnathan Franklin, who earned his bachelor’s degree in political science in 2012, is the Young Alumnus of the Year. One of the top college running backs in the nation from 2009 to 2012, he still leads the Bruins in all-purpose yards (4,925) and career rushing yards (788 carries for 4,620 yards), with the seventh most career rushing yards in Pac-12 history. Franklin was drafted by the Green Bay Packers for the 2013–14 NFL season, but in week 12 of his rookie season, he suffered a serious neck injury, which forced him to retire. Franklin found a way to move on, becoming the manager of community affairs and engagement for the Los Angeles Rams. He uses the power of football to develop young people into future leaders. Franklin shares his story as a way to inspire others to create the future they want for themselves.
The UCLA Alumni San Diego Network is the recipient of the UCLA Award for Network of the Year. With more than 12,000 alumni in the San Diego area, the network is dedicated to engaging and supporting Bruins. Its events include career-focused panels about real estate, financial planning and health care. The network is also committed to serving the local community, participating in UCLA Volunteer Day, New Bruin Send-offs and, for nearly 20 years, the San Diego Food Bank. Its scholarship fund helps local high school and community college students achieve their dream of attending UCLA. The fund recently surpassed the $1 million milestone, increasing the network’s ability to provide even more encouragement and assistance to students.