The UCLA Medal was established by Chancellor Charles E. Young in 1979. The first Medals were awarded during UCLA’s Golden Year to alumni, administrators, and faculty who made significant contributions to UCLA’s early development. Subsequent UCLA Medal presentations have been made at commencement ceremonies, events, and other appropriate occasions at the Chancellor’s discretion.
In 2010, the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Honors and Awards recognized there is a need for two university awards to be presented by the Chancellor and recommended creating a new honor, known today as The Fiat Lux Award.
The UCLA Medal is the highest honor for extraordinary accomplishment that may be bestowed upon an individual. The Fiat Lux Award honors individuals or organizations that have rendered distinguished or extraordinary service to UCLA. Consideration for these awards must meet the respective criteria presented in this Policy.
A. Approval Process
- The UCLA Medal and The Fiat Lux Award shall only be awarded upon approval of the Chancellor, in consultation with the appropriate Advisory Committee for each award:
The UCLA Medal Advisory Committee
The committee serves a three-year term and the committee chair is appointed by the Chancellor. The committee should be comprised of eight members, including: one vice chancellor, two deans, the current chair of the Academic Senate and four faculty from diverse fields and of distinguished academic achievement.
The Fiat Lux Award Advisory Committee
The committee serves a three-year term and the committee chair is appointed by the Chancellor. The committee should be comprised of seven members, including: President of the UCLA Foundation, Vice Chancellor of External Affairs, two deans, two faculty members, and one philanthropist to UCLA.
- Advisory Committees meet semi-annually to review the qualifications of nominees and forward their confidential recommendations to the Chancellor. The Chancellor has the authority to accept or reject their recommendations and to select an appropriate occasion to present the approved award, in consultation with the Vice Chancellor of External Affairs and the nominating campus official. (see Section IV., below)
B. Award Presentations
UCLA Medals and Fiat Lux Awards should be presented by the Chancellor at occasions he/she determines are most suitable to honor the recipient. Suitable occasions could include a commencement ceremony, but neither The UCLA Medal nor The Fiat Lux Award should be viewed as a commencement award. For the purpose of honoring commencement speakers, schools may create their own individual awards of honor.
III. AWARD CRITERIA
A. Criteria for the awarding of The UCLA Medal
- 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.
B. Criteria for the awarding of The Fiat Lux Award
- The Fiat Lux Award should be bestowed upon distinguished people or organizations, academic or nonacademic, whose contributions to the university are manifestly above and beyond the call of duty and had a transformational impact on the campus.
- The Fiat Lux Award may not be awarded routinely for retirement.
- Philanthropy can be considered, but should not be the sole criteria for this honor.
C. The UCLA Medal and The Fiat Lux Award shall not be awarded:
- in absentia;
- to current state or local elected officials;
- to members of the Board of Regents of the University of California until eleven months or more after the date of their conclusion of service; or
- to active employees of the University of California until eleven months or more after the date of retirement or termination.
Exceptions to this Policy are subject to review by the appropriate Advisory Committee and may be granted in extraordinary circumstances by the Chancellor.
IV. NOMINATION PROCESSING
Following are nominating steps and related requirements for The UCLA Medal and The Fiat Lux Award:
- Nominations for both awards, are accepted semi-annually.
- Nominations are reviewed by the appropriate Committee and recommendations sent to the Chancellor.
- Award invitations are extended to honorees solely by the Chancellor.
- To the degree feasible and practical, Medals and Fiat Lux Awards are to be conferred in the same academic year as the nomination is approved.
Nominations for The UCLA Medal and The Fiat Lux Award may only be submitted by the Chancellor, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, deans, and vice chancellors.
- The Office of Special Events & Protocol, under the Vice Chancellor of External Affairs, shall oversee the administration and processing of nominations for both awards.
- Formal nominations shall include a letter stating the award for which the individual is nominated and articulating the qualities and accomplishments that distinguish the nominee. Each nomination letter must be accompanied by biographical information.