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The UCLA Medal

For more information on The UCLA Medal, please refer to UCLA Policy 140: UCLA Awards and Honors.

Deadline for Nomination Submission:
Fall 2013: October 28, 2013
Spring 2014: March 14, 2014

Description & History:
The UCLA Medal was established in 1979 and is the highest honor for extraordinary accomplishment that may be bestowed upon an individual by UCLA.

Recipients have included national and international leaders in government, education, science, industry and the arts, as well as men and women who have advanced UCLA’s development into one of the world’s preeminent universities.

Alphabetical list of past recipients | Chronological list of past Medal recipients

One side of the medal bears a modified version of the University of California seal. Designed by Tiffany & Co., the original seal was adopted by the University of California in 1910. It features the words "The University of California" and the year the university was founded, 1868, around the rim of a circle. Within the circle is an open book, symbolizing the accumulation and dissemination of knowledge. The only legible text inside the book is a capital A, signifying the beginning of wisdom. Across the bottom of the book, a banner proclaims the university’s motto, "Let there be light." Atop the open book, a five-pointed star emits rays of light, symbolizing the discovery and propagation of knowledge. The rendering that appears on The UCLA Medal incorporates one variation: UCLA is inscribed in place of the university’s founding date.

The reverse side of the medal depicts Royce Hall, the most recognizable building at UCLA and one of the four original structures erected on the Westwood campus. Designed by the Los Angeles firm of Allison & Allison and completed in 1929, Royce Hall is modeled after the Italian Romanesque San Ambrogio Church in Milan. Today it is home to classrooms, offices, and an 1,800-seat theater considered one of the nation’s finest concert halls.


The UCLA Medal should be bestowed upon individuals of exceptionally distinguished academic and professional achievement, whose body of work or contributions to society illustrate the highest ideals of UCLA, and whose career has manifestly benefited the public well beyond the demands of tradition, rank or direct service to the university. Philanthropy may not be a consideration for The UCLA Medal.

Nomination Process:
Nominations for The UCLA Medal may only be submitted by the Chancellor, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, provosts, deans, and vice chancellors. The Office of Special Events & Protocol, under the Vice Chancellor of External Affairs, oversees the administration and processing of nominations for The UCLA Medal.

Formal nominations shall include a letter articulating the qualities and accomplishments that distinguish the nominee. Each nomination letter must be accompanied by biographical information.

Nominations are accepted semi-annually, reviewed by the UCLA Medal Advisory Committee and their recommendations are sent to the Chancellor. Award invitations are extended to honorees solely by the Chancellor.

Deadline for Nomination Submission:
Fall 2013: October 28, 2013
Spring 2014: March 14, 2014

For more information on criteria and the nomination process, please refer to UCLA Policy 140 or contact Tricia Lippert, Associate Director, Office of Special Events & Protocol.