UCLA Emeriti Association Report

 Fall, 2008


Our annual dinner/speaker meeting in May, routine monthly board meetings, and periodic after-lunch speakers are just our humdrum version of ho-hum reports. Apart from these, more or less notable might be the following:


1. Our annual spring arts and crafts exhibit, an outstanding and very popular display of the creative talents of emeriti and/or their spouses, including a luxurious reception, is underwritten by the Association but in fact largely funded by emeriti contributions and an endowment from its originator, for whom it is named. This year it featured 30 artists and honored Toshi Ashikaga. The ninety-one year old, strikingly youthful wife of an emeritus, Toshi continues to grace this affair with flowers and to serve emeriti interests readily and charmingly.


2. Shortly after this event, Association members celebrated the completion of the six-story shell of a 162-unit Belmont Village independent and Assisted Living Retirement community we are sponsoring in conjunction with UCLA’s Staff Retirees Association. Located on rare Wilshire Boulevard land within a mile of the campus, the facility will serve emeriti and staff retirees, their parents, and the parents of active faculty and staff, in a prioritized order. Campus benefits for these parties and, in turn, from their value to UCLA, have been hindered by the current lack of such nearby accommodations.


3. In weighing sixteen candidates for this year’s Dickson Award as winter slipped into spring, our awards committee was confounded by the fact that a good case could be made for honoring every one of them. At last a compromise simply stretched available funds to include five. Still, the ghosts or worthy souls not selected might well haunt the committee members this Halloween.


4. Currently, UCLA emeritus Charles E. Young, after nearly 30 years as our chancellor, 6 years as president of the University of Florida, and 2 years as head of a foundation reforming higher education in Qatar (pronounced “cutter” by natives) has returned to teach an undergraduate class at UCLA on the American Presidency and the current election. This has shocked many by revealing that even a lifetime in administration can’t completely incapacitate an academic.