As it continues to celebrate its centennial year, the UCLA College is looking back at its extraordinary growth and progress, charting a course for the future and honoring those whose support and service have played a pivotal role in shaping that journey.

Recently, five remarkable supporters of UCLA and the College were presented with UCLA College 100 Visionary Awards:

  • Mani L. Bhaumik, a physicist advancing knowledge about the basic laws of nature
  • Tadashi Yanai, a business leader transforming the Japanese humanities worldwide
  • Matthew Harris, a UCLA alumnus and entrepreneur helping to promote kindness and the building of more humane societies
  • Marcie Rothman, a UCLA alumna and culinary artist inspiring others to examine contemporary issues through the lens of food
  • Peter Taylor, a UCLA alumnus and higher education veteran working to diversify the STEM pipeline

“These extraordinary individuals have singlehandedly helped reshape the landscape of our collective work and world,” said Miguel García-Garibay, senior dean of the College and dean of physical sciences, speaking on behalf of all five College deans. “Their contributions have forever transformed the UCLA College and created a powerful ripple effect that will be felt far into our second century — and beyond.”

The honorees, distinguished members of the Bruin community, have provided groundbreaking leadership and support by shaping the Mani L. Bhaumik Institute for Theoretical Physics, the Bedari Kindness Institute, the Rothman Family Institute for Food Studies, the Life Sciences Scholars Pathway Program and the Tadashi Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities, all within the UCLA College.

The awards were presented at a March 20 ceremony at Royce Hall honoring the College’s first 100 years and attended by the deans, Chancellor Gene Block, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Darnell Hunt, and other academic leaders.

“The College of Letters and Science will always be the heart of UCLA,” Block said. “This is where the vast majority of our students reside; it’s home to more than three-quarters of our undergraduates. It’s the engine that drives forward our mission of education, research and service, built upon foundational commitments to rigorous teaching, exceptional research and community engagement.”

Speakers at the event included faculty, alumni, donors and friends representing the five UCLA College divisions — humanities, life sciences, physical sciences, social sciences and undergraduate education — who discussed the impact of the College’s four foundational pillars: teaching, research, service, and access and inclusion.

“The innovation that’s being done here is leading the way for our colleagues around the country and even around the world — I’ve been asked repeatedly, ‘What are you guys doing at UCLA that makes your students so happy and so great when they come to us?’” said Gina Poe, the UCLA Chuck Lorre Scholars Program faculty chair and a professor of integrative biology and physiology, psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences, and neurobiology. “It’s really exciting to imagine what the next 100 years will bring us.”

A key section of the event focused on the UCLA College’s nine centennial term chairs and included remarks by Nobel laureate and UCLA alumnus Randy Schekman and a special message from NBA star Kevin Love in honor of Michelle Craske, a distinguished professor of psychology who holds the Kevin Love Fund Centennial Chair.

“Giving this chair to UCLA — my alma mater — and seeing the real-world impact it’s making possible is an indescribable feeling,” Love said. “Thank you for your incredible work, Michelle, and congratulations to the UCLA College. Together, I know we can make the second century even more impactful than the first.”

The event closed with the presentation of the five College 100 Visionary Awards and a message from García-Garibay.

“To our students, alumni, faculty and staff, our donors, supporters and friends,” he said, “it is because of you that the College is and will continue to be a truly special place.”

Read more about the centennial in the UCLA College magazine.