Seeing UCLA in the headlines for its continued success has been a welcomed presence in early months of this academic year. From ranking as the top public university for the 5th year running by U.S. News & World Report, to being the most applied to school in the nation, and recently surpassing our Blue & Gold Challenge goal, UCLA has had a powerful start to what is sure to be an inspiring academic year.
While we plan to continue our virtual gatherings through the holiday season, I look forward to joining with you all in-person later this year for our events and annual celebrations. Of particular note, our Bruin Woods Weekend event will kick-off on April 29 in what I hope to be a relaxing and invigorating getaway for all who are able to join. More information on this will be heading to your inboxes soon!
Our shared sense of community has been a significant comfort for me throughout the pandemic, and I am immensely grateful for your continued support at the Chancellor’s Society level. Please enjoy the following stories of Bruin commitment and innovation, and as always, I encourage you all to visit the UCLA Newsroom to stay on top of all the UCLA goings-on on and off campus.
Wishing you warmth and joy this holiday season,
Chau Le ’88 Chair, UCLA Chancellor’s Society
CAMPUS SPOTLIGHT: UCLA OPERATION MEND
In November, Chancellor’s Society donors joined by Chancellor Block came together in New York to highlight the life-saving intensive treatments provided by Operation Mend. In hearing directly from veterans and caregivers, attendees learned more about the impact and importance of this unique program at UCLA.
Established in 2007, UCLA’s Operation Mend draws on the world-class skill and expertise of UCLA Health to provide multi-faceted healthcare to post 9/11 era veterans. This pioneering initiative takes steps to address the complex and diverse needs of those who have served in the armed forces, as well as their families.
Understanding that the need for healing often extends past the individual, Operation Mend allocates resources at no cost to wounded warriors as well as their loved ones who have been touched by the effects of war. Initially conceived to address complex physical injuries sustained in the line of duty, this program has since expanded to provide mental health intensive treatment programs for post-traumatic stress disorder, including a substance use disorder track, and traumatic brain injury. Operation Mend’s comprehensive neuro-assessment and therapeutics program provides veterans with an understanding of their brain health and a treatment plan. By combining these invaluable services provided by UCLA’s medical staff with the collective power of Chancellor’s Society giving, we can begin to propel this cherished program to new milestones.
Operation Mend is one of many factors that make UCLA one of the top five veteran-friendly schools according to U.S. News & World Report in 2021. Through federal initiatives that provide financial aid to veterans and active-duty service members, UCLA is proud to support these students and families through their ever-evolving needs.
To read more about Operation Mend and discover ways to support this life-saving resource, please visit their website. To view photos from the event, click here.
DONOR SPOTLIGHT: JASON SEIFER ’99
Understanding the needs of a community allows us to provide aid in the most effective and efficient ways, on both organizational and personal levels. Jason Seifer ’99, a proud Bruin and committed Chancellor’s Society donor, understands that UCLA influences many spheres of our society. In aligning his passions with this potential for impact, his discretionary support to the LGTBQ center helps enable advocacy for so many Bruins from a crucial campus resource. The flexible nature of these funds is perfectly suited to the expansive and inclusive nature of many LGBTQ+ issues.
Growing up in the bay area of California, UCLA caught Jason’s attention for their progressive stance regarding LGBTQ+ issues. As Jason was considering college in the mid-90’s, UCLA had gained a reputation for engaging in LGTBQ+ discourse and encouraging authentic life narratives before it was commonplace – an example of Bruin trailblazing at its finest. This secured Jason’s interest, and he began his undergraduate journey at UCLA in 1995.
Graduating with a degree in International Economics and a Minor in Public Policy, Jason worked widely throughout the public sector in Los Angeles before settling back in San Francisco with his husband. Now serving as Chief Financial Officer for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Jason possesses an intimate understanding of philanthropic need. “It’s important to recognize when you’re in a position to provide support and fill in the gaps of foundational funding,” he remarks, “My experiences at UCLA informed my early philanthropy and encouraged the culture of giving among my peers.” Due to the inclusive nature of the LGBTQ+ community, and the expansive work of the LGBTQ Center on campus, it always made sense to Jason to support their advocacy work as widely as possible through the LGBTQ Director’s Discretionary Fund.
With his recent pledge to the LGBTQ Director’s Discretionary Fund, Jason hopes the Center will be able to address unanticipated issues of equity and need within LGBTQ+ communities. “UCLA aims to bridge many divides in our society, and it is one of the few places to provide upward economic mobility to those who need it most through the opportunity of education.” This is just one example of how personal passions can enact measurable change by partnering with ongoing efforts at UCLA.
For Jason, giving back is the result of a reflective process. In understanding how the diversity of UCLA has informed his worldview, Jason notes, “I always try to remember how UCLA has shaped my life, and how I’m able to encourage that for the next generation of Bruins. As Chancellor’s Society donors, we are able to come together for a common purpose and be at the forefront of positive change.”
Many thanks to Jason, and all our Chancellor’s Society donors, near and far, who support UCLA in its mission. For more information on staying connected with UCLA in your region, please contact your regional director.