Bruin Tracks: Road Shows
By Mark Davis and Priscilla Farinas '11, Illustrations by Travis Foster
Published Jan 1, 2011 11:53 AM
Best-selling authors, outstanding athletes, Broadway stars, stellar faculty and cutting-edge research. The UCLA community has a lot to offer alumni with a thirst for knowledge and desire to network. But getting back to campus isn't always easy, even for Bruins who live in Los Angeles.
That's why UCLA has tapped some of its brightest stars to bring the best of campus to alumni throughout California and across the country as part of the UCLA On the Road series.
"UCLA is one of the most recognized schools in the world. It carries weight to say that you have a degree from UCLA," says Scott Weaver J.D. '96, a commercial litigator and trustee for the Seattle Repertory Theatre. "I was excited to go to the recent UCLA On the Road event in Seattle that honored Coach Wooden."
On the Road events like the one Weaver attended in Seattle are ideal. "Each of the presenters personifies greatness and is nationally recognized," he says.
Last March, for example, Chancellor Gene Block welcomed James Swanson J.D. '86, Edgar Award-winning author, to an On the Road gathering in Washington, D.C. More than 100 Bruins turned out to hear Swanson discuss his Edgar Award-winning and New York Times bestseller Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer, a nonfiction work investigating the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the hunt for his murderer.
Other recent speakers have included Valorie Kondos Field '87, coach of the 2010 NCAA champion UCLA women's gymnastics team; Andy Hill '74, M.A. '76, co-author with John Wooden of Be Quick — But Don't Hurry!; and Rafer Johnson '59, Olympic gold medalist and author of The Best That I Can Be.
Plans for 2011 include gatherings featuring similarly fascinating guests. But the great thing about UCLA On the Road events is that the speakers aren't the only stars in the room.
"When I first moved to Seattle, I could not find any organized UCLA events," says Weaver. Eventually he connected with some fellow alumni online; they organized outings to watch games and formed an official UCLA Alumni Network in Seattle.
UCLA On the Road events give the group a great reason to get together and a prime opportunity to exchange business cards and expand their personal and professional networks.
In 2011, UCLA On the Road will be heading to New York City, Orange County, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington and Los Angeles. Watch for your invitation to the best of UCLA and a great opportunity to make connections with local Bruins.