UCLA Policy 140 : UCLA Medal
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Issuing Officer: Vice Chancellor - Strategic Communications
Responsible Office: Special Events & Protocol - Look Up Contact Person
Effective Date: December 22, 2023
Supersedes: UCLA Policy 140, dated 3/07/2011
Revision History: APP History


Established by Chancellor Charles E. Young in 1979, the UCLA Medal is the highest honor for extraordinary accomplishment that may be bestowed upon an individual. 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 Medals have been awarded to those individuals who have earned academic or professional acclaim and whose work demonstrates the highest ideals of UCLA. 

This Policy outlines the eligibility criteria and procedures for nominating, selecting, and presenting the UCLA Medal.


The UCLA Medal is the highest honor for extraordinary accomplishment that may be bestowed upon an individual. Consideration for this award must meet the criteria and follow the procedures as set out in this Policy.


A.  Criteria for the awarding of the UCLA Medal

  1. The UCLA Medal is bestowed upon individuals of exceptionally distinguished academic or 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.
  2. Philanthropy to UCLA must not be a consideration for the UCLA Medal.
  3. The UCLA Medal will not be awarded:
    • in absentia;
    • posthumously;
    • 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 separation.

B.  Exceptions

Exceptions to the award criteria are subject to review by the UCLA Medal Advisory Committee and may be granted in extraordinary circumstances by the Chancellor.

C.  Revocation of the UCLA Medal

In instances whereby verified information becomes available that a medalist has conducted themselves in a manner that is inconsistent with UCLA values, the UCLA Medal Committee can recommend to the Chancellor the revocation of the UCLA Medal.


A.  Nominators

Nominations for the UCLA Medal may be submitted only by the Chancellor, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, Deans, Academic Vice Provosts, Vice Chancellors and the Academic Senate leadership (comprised of the current Chair, Chair-Elect, and Immediate Past Chair).

Each nominator is invited to submit up to two nominations per academic year. Up to six UCLA Medals in total can be awarded during each academic year.

B.  Required Nomination Materials

Each nominator must provide the following materials:

  • A letter (no longer than two pages) from the nominator articulating the qualities and accomplishments that distinguish the nominee and attendant impact on their community, profession, or society. If applicable, the nominee’s commitment and connections to UCLA should be described.
  • The nominee’s biography or CV.
  • Two one-page letters from two secondary nominators in support of the nomination, with at least one of the nominators being external to UCLA.
  • A detailed description of the occasion when the medal would be given. If an exception is being requested, please include an explanation of the special circumstances.

C.  Timeline

  • Nominations are accepted annually and due by October 15.

  • Submit nominations to the Vice Chancellor of Strategic Communications.

  • To the degree feasible and practical, the UCLA Medal is to be conferred in the same academic year as the nomination is approved.


1.  The UCLA Medal Advisory Committee will meet annually in November to review the qualifications of nominees and forward their confidential recommendations to the Chancellor. The Chancellor has the authority to accept or reject the committee’s recommendations. The decision of the Chancellor is final.

2.  The UCLA Medal Advisory Committee is chaired by the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost and comprises eight other members:

  • Two Deans
  • One Vice Chancellor
  • Current Chair of the Academic Senate
  • Four faculty from diverse fields and of distinguished academic achievement, two representatives from North Campus and two from South Campus. The Committee on Committees will recommend faculty members to the EVCP for consideration.

Aside from the current Chair of the Academic Senate who rotates annually, the remaining seven committee members serve staggered three-year terms. Members serve one three-year term only.


Invitations to accept the UCLA Medal will be made only by the Chancellor. UCLA Medals will be presented by the Chancellor at occasions the Chancellor determines are most suitable to honor the recipient, who must be present to accept the award. Customarily, the UCLA Medal is presented annually during the commencement ceremony of the nominating unit. A reception or luncheon will be hosted by the Chancellor for the medal winners, their families, and representatives of the UCLA Medal Committee. However, compelling proposals for other venues and dates will receive serious consideration.

The nominating unit is responsible for all expenses related to the UCLA Medal ceremony, with the exception of the medal award and the event hosted by the Chancellor. By combining ceremonies with commencement, it is expected that expenses incurred by the unit will be kept to a minimum while facilitating an event that will inspire UCLA students. 





/s/ Mary Osako

Vice Chancellor - Strategic Communications