UCLA is lighting two of its most iconic buildings in gold this week to honor the memory of Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic and UCLA alumnus, Jonathan Gold, matching last weekend’s citywide tribute that lit up buildings from Los Angeles City Hall to the Santa Monica Pier.
Gold, who graduated from UCLA in 1982 with a degree in music history, died on July 21 at age 57. Obituaries across the country have noted that the self-described “belly of Los Angeles” used food to teach curiosity and tolerance for other cultures by reviewing small restaurants largely overlooked by mainstream media, and even taco trucks. In his honor, UCLA is illuminating Royce Hall and Powell Library with gold light each night this week from sundown to 2 a.m., through Aug. 3.
His brother Mark, UCLA’s associate vice chancellor for environment and sustainability, wrote an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times acknowledging Jonathan’s work uniting the city around different cultures’ food, and his contributions to saving endangered species. The two alumni frequently shared their overlapping interests with students and scholars at UCLA, including in a talk about sustainable seafood on campus in 2017, and as guest lecturers in a UCLA class on food and sustainability in 2016.