2017 Distinguished Alumni Awards

The UCLA School of Nursing hosted a successful Distinguished Alumni Awards Luncheon and Silent Auction on Saturday, May 6 2017. We were delighted to celebrate National Nurses Day with our attendees in the brand new UCLA Luskin Conference Center.


The event was a record-breaker, with more than 115 individuals who came to celebrate our honorees! In attendance were alumni, students, faculty, staff, and other friends of the UCLA School of Nursing. Also in attendance were esteemed guests Dr. Karen Grimley, Chief Nursing Executive for UCLA Health and Assistant Dean in the School of Nursing, many previous School of Nursing Distinguished Alumni, and large group reunions from the classes of 1967, 2007, and various alumni from the founding classes of the 1950s.


The program commenced with a welcome from our Director of Alumni Relations. We then welcomed Dr. Linda Sarna (’69, MN ’76), Dean, Professor, and Lulu Wolf-Hassenplug Endowed Chair in Nursing, who proceeded to give a “State of the School” address and present our newest award categories for 2017, the Rising Bruin Award and Golden Bruin Staff award.


Hrachuhi Hakhpandyan ’12 gave a heart-warming speech about what winning this Rising Bruin Recent Alumni award meant to her and her meaningful time at UCLA. Additionally, Rhonda Flenoy-Younger, with over 30 years of service to the UCLA School of Nursing, brought the audience to tears with her touching Golden Bruin Staff Award acceptance speech.


After a brief break to allow for our Silent Auction, Dean Sarna then made the presentation of the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Awards honoring three graduates who have accomplished so much in their careers since their time as students in UCLA:


  • Reiko Nagumo, ‘56, MN ‘58 (Lyola Murray ‘56, MN ’58 accepted on her behalf)
  • Marty Nason, ’66, MN ‘87
  • Joseph Morris, PhD ‘07


Dr. Sarna presented the honorees with personalized awards, a bouquet of flowers, a fun UCLA 8-Clap, and then followed with a champagne toast to celebrate their accomplishments.  The event concluded with words from Amy Drizhal, Executive Director of Development and Alumni Relations.


With the help of our guests, the School raised another record-breaker of over $5,000 on the day of the event through the silent auction and personal donations.  We would like to acknowledge the businesses who supplied items for the auction and the people who purchased items.  Thanks again to our UCLA School of Nursing family for continued support to the UCLA School of Nursing and we hope to see you at our next Distinguished Alumni Awards in 2018!


If you were not able to attend and would like to make a gift, it is not too late. 




We’d like to acknowledge the generous donors to our

2017 Silent Auction:

Atom Tickets

CorePower Yoga


The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories


Hornblower Cruises

Hotel Angeleno

Los Angeles Lakers/UCLA Health Partnership

Rosenthal Estate Wines

Sarah Leonard Fine Jewelers

Shakespeare in the Sphere

Sprazzo Cucina Italiana

Sprinkles Cupcakes

UCLA Wooden Athletic Fund

Wolfgang Puck at the Hotel Bel Air

Ms. Amy Drizhal

Mr. Darryl F. Johnson

Dr. Linda Sarna


Photos from the event, courtesy of Todd Cheney