A decade ago I became a UCLA Bruin eager to study politics. I now return to campus as an alumnus with a degree in Political Science (with a concentration in International Relations).
The wife-elect and I attended UCLA’s Political Science department first Alumni Day Event, and it was great! The room was filled with alumni of all ages united by a passion for politics and our love for our alma mater. After some coffee and conversations, we departed with matching mementos courtesy of the department.
Tell me, what was your major? Are you still passionate for the subjects you studied? Do you attend reunions and alumni events?
While on a date with my wife-elect over the weekend during UCLA’s Centennial Alumni Day, we went for a leisurely walk through the Franklin D. Murphy sculpture garden.
One of my favorite places on campus as a student and now as an alumnus, the sculpture garden was the perfect location to stop, breath, and relax. As we approached Deborah Butterfield’s 1996 bronze sculpture “Pensive,” Ms. Dolfi instantly knew this was my favorite piece. In my defense, who would not love a wooden horse!? It is simply awesome, not to mention convincing — it really looks like wood.
One hundred years ago, Los Angeles became the birthplace of what would become the No. 1 university in the United States. Ten years ago, I was honored to receive my acceptance letter. Last weekend, I had the privilege to celebrate our first century with my wife-elect — making for a memorable, unique, and truly once in a lifetime date.
The centennial year launch took place on Saturday, May 18, 2019 with UCLA’s Alumni Day, a TED Talk (TEDxUCLA), and a unique Projection Show at Royce Hall titled: Lighting the Way.
We arrived early for an event at my major’s department and spent the rest of the day navigating my alma mater. From our leisurely walk through the sculpture garden, to our shopping spree at the UCLA store, and a coffee stop, the buildup to the show was a lovely date in itself.
After a full day of adventures, we made our way to Powell Library’s front steps around 7:30 PM to take a seat front and centered. The projector adjusted its custom grid on Royce Hall’s facade, and at 8:00 PM a one hour timer appeared in the middle.
After about an hour and a half of wiggling on Powell’s steps to maximize our comfort, the countdown was over, the lights went off, and the show began. A spectacular projection of our history, triumphs, and accomplishments, Lighting the Way was an inspirational beacon to the optimists that concluded with one last question: “How will you, light the way?”
Tell me, how will you make the world a better place? If given the opportunity, what would you change and why? What are your goals? How will you, light the way?
In honor of my alma mater’s upcoming centennial celebration I present the most photographed building on campus, Royce Hall (perfect with its 52 imperfections). In 2017, this is where I would surprise-serenade my then best friend, now wife-elect, to ask her to be my girlfriend. There, at the top of the middle steps, dressed in a black suit with a dozen red roses and my guitar in hand, after nearly a decade, she said “yes.”