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A "young" alum returns
to campus and reaffirms his connections to the school that offered
him so much
By Zachary Aron '94
To be honest, I am writing this for purely selfish reasons.
Since I graduated from UCLA in 1994, I have rarely, if ever, received
an opportunity to write creatively. While in school, I was a writer
for the sports section of the Daily Bruin for three years, which
left an indelible impression on not only my experience at UCLA,
but the years after. Most of my best friends from UCLA came from
the Daily Bruin and our time there provides a bond that keeps us
together even today.
On top of that, I was able to do two things I thoroughly enjoyed
— sports and writing. By writing about sports, I thought I
was doing the next best thing to playing sports for UCLA. I received
access to players, coaches and games at an intimate level and every
day got to tell the rest of the UCLA community about it. As college
gigs go, it's as good as it gets.
In four faster-than-you-ever-thought-possible years, I graduated.
I traded the pen and pad for a laptop and a Palm Pilot, and creative
writing as I knew it became a hobby of the past. Then, in a moment
of spontaneous school spirit, I decided to R.S.V.P. for the Young
Alumni Reunion in March. (A small side note: My class, at 10 years
out, was the "oldest" of the young alumni. Does that make
me officially middle-aged next year?) Two days later, the editor
of UCLA Magazine called with an offer I couldn't refuse:
"Would you like to write a story about the reunion and your
feelings about UCLA from the alumni perspective?" It took all
of two seconds to say yes. After all, getting a chance to write
again about something that I enjoy seemed a no-brainer. Why not
dust off the writing cobwebs for another go-round? And besides,
I think my alumni street cred is pretty solid: I'm a paid-up, lifetime
member of the Alumni Association; the company I work for matches
annual contributions to the UCLA Alumni Scholarships fund; I return
to campus to recruit upcoming grads for my employer; I faithfully
renew my Bruin football season tickets; I have the 1995 UCLA-Missouri
NCAA second-round tournament game permanently stored on my Tivo
— and if you have to ask why that's such a big deal, you are
reading the wrong magazine.