UCLA Policy 141 : UCLA Fiat Lux Award
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Issuing Officer: Vice Chancellor - External Affairs
Responsible Office: External Affairs - Look Up Contact Person
Effective Date: October 13, 2021
Revision History: APP History


In 2010, the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Honors and Awards recognized a need for a university award, in addition to the UCLA Medal, to honor individuals for extraordinary service. The Committee recommended The UCLA Fiat Lux Award.

This Policy outlines the eligibility criteria and procedures for the nomination, selection, and presentation of the UCLA Fiat Lux Award.


The Fiat Lux Award is one of UCLA’s highest honors presented by the Chancellor. The Fiat Lux Award honors extraordinary service to the university and the broader community at large, exemplifying the spirit of civic engagement, diverse perspectives, optimism, and innovation that is the hallmark of UCLA. Consideration for this award must meet the criteria and follow the procedures as set out in this Policy.


A.   Criteria for awarding The Fiat Lux Award

1.  The Fiat Lux Award should be bestowed upon distinguished individuals or organizations, academic or nonacademic, whose body of work or contributions illustrate and enhance UCLA’s core mission and valuesthe integration of education, research, and service so that each enriches and extends the others – individuals or organizations who have addressed pressing societal needs, who have clearly gone above and beyond the call of duty, and have had a transformational impact on the campus and/or broader community at large.

2.  Philanthropy may be considered, but should not be the sole criteria for this honor.

3.  The Fiat Lux Award will not be awarded:

  • in absentia;
  • posthumously;
  • to current federal, 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 Fiat Lux Award Advisory Committee and may be granted in extraordinary circumstances by the Chancellor.

C.    Revocation of The Fiat Lux Award

In instances whereby verified information becomes available that an awardee has conducted themselves in a manner that is inconsistent with UCLA values, The Fiat Lux Award Committee can recommend to the Chancellor the revocation of the Fiat Lux Award.


A.   Nominators

Nominations for The Fiat Lux Award may only be submitted by the Chancellor, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, Deans, Vice Chancellors, and Academic Vice Provosts.

Up to six UCLA Fiat Lux Awards in total can be awarded during each academic year.

A Fiat Lux Award nomination and a UCLA Medal nomination (see UCLA Policy 140) may not be submitted within the same academic year for the same individual or organization.

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. 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 citation for the award in 200 characters or less.
  • A detailed description of occasion when the award would be presented. If an exception is being requested, please include an explanation of the special circumstances.

C.   Timeline

  • Nominations are accepted annually and due by April 15.
  • Submit nominations to the Vice Chancellor External Affairs.
  • To the degree feasible and practical, the Fiat Lux Award is to be conferred in the fall or winter of the academic year following the nomination approval.


1.  The Fiat Lux Award Advisory Committee will meet annually in April 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 Fiat Lux Award Advisory Committee is chaired by the Vice Chancellor External Affairs and comprises six additional members:

  • Two Deans from diverse fields, one representative from North Campus and one from South Campus
  • Two faculty from diverse fields, one representative from North Campus and one from South Campus
  • One UCLA volunteer
  • The Chair of the UCLA Foundation

With the exception of the chair, committee members serve staggered two-year terms. Members serve one two-year term only.


Nominees should not be made aware of the nomination by the nominator or others. Invitations to accept the Fiat Lux Award will be made only by the Chancellor. Fiat Lux Awards will be presented by the Chancellor, and in consultation with the Chancellor, the Vice Chancellor External Affairs and the nominating campus official, the award will be presented at occasions to be determined as most suitable to honor the recipient. Suitable occasions could include, but not limited to, a lunch, dinner, lecture, or other event or ceremony in which the UCLA community can be gathered. The Fiat Lux Award will not be presented at commencement ceremonies.

The recipient must be present to accept the award, if the recipient is not able to attend the award event, alternatives could include attendance by a virtual platform or flexibility in the timing and location of the award presentation.  

The nominating unit is responsible for all expenses related to the Fiat Lux Award ceremony, with the exception of the Fiat Lux Award itself.

Any press releases surrounding the Fiat Lux Award must be pre-approved by the Vice Chancellor External Affairs to ensure the description of the award is accurate.  




/s/ Turteltaub, Rhea

Vice Chancellor - External Affairs