Tuesday, September 30, 2014
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Dr. Winston Doby (left) along with fellow UCLA alumni Judge Joe Brown addresses a group of UCLA’s Black Alumni Association.

Photo by Jason Lewis for Sentinel

Dr. Winston Doby (left) along with fellow UCLA alumni Judge Joe Brown, addresses a group of UCLA's Black Alumni Association.

UCLA's Black Alumni helps increase enrollment of Black students

By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Staff Writer



The UCLA Black Alumni Association (UBBA) has developed a motto when it comes to raising scholarship money for Black students. "When we all give a little, we will have a lot,"

That could be seen first hand as Attorney Rickey Ivie, UBAA Chairman, opened up his home to a number of the UBAA members to raise scholarship money for Black students.

The UBAA has helped raise nearly $3 million dollars for the UBAA Legacy Scholarship Fund. UBAA members have personally donated over $300,000 towards that fund, and obtained the rest from some of UCLA's largest donors.

The Legacy Scholarship fund is the brain child of Dr. Winston Doby, who enrolled into UCLA 50 years ago. He earned three degrees from the university, and served the school for nearly four decades.

When Doby retired in 2006 UCLA was taking a lot of criticism for admitting fewer than 100 Black students. Doby was asked by then UCLA Chancellor Norm Abrams to speak before the UCLA competitiveness council, which is composed of the top UCLA contributors and supports.

Doby saw two problems. The first was the amount of Black high school students who were accepted into UCLA. The second was the amount that actually chose to attend UCLA. In 2006 about 500 Black students were accepted into UCLA. But the problem was that a number of those students were also accepted into a number of the other top universities in the nation, and they chose to go else where.

The competitiveness council could not do much about the admissions of Black students, but they could help to convince the Black students who were accepted to choose UCLA over other top schools.

That is when the Legacy Scholarship fund was created. Through the fund all Black students who attend UCLA receive at least a $1,000 scholarship. This scholarship has helped sway Black students to UCLA. Third year student Jasmine Hill, from Oakland, is an example of that.

"The Legacy Scholarship has had a huge impact on my life," Hill said. "I wouldn't be here without the help of the scholarship."

Hill, like other Black students, was accepted into other universities. But the financial help from the UBBA made her decision to go to UCLA a lot easier.

The UBAA is just getting started. They're plan is to raise $1,000,000 a year for the Legacy Fund. Doby and the UBAA are working hard to build up a group of 1,000 members who will donate $1,000 a year, which would give them $1,000,000 a year.

UCLA's Chancellor Gene D. Block is in full support of the UBAA, and he personally attended all five of the UBAA's fund raising events last year. Those fund raising events raised over $250,000. Block views the efforts of the UBAA as a success, but he is also looking for the school and the UBAA to have even better results in the future.

"We've made great progress," Block said. "But we are not where we need to be."

Block pointed out that since the UBAA started the Legacy Fund the school has doubled the amount of Black students to enroll each year.

UCLA will be stepping up their efforts with scholarship money. For the next three freshman admission cycles, the top 100 admitted students from every community will be offered four year merit scholarships equivalent to mandatory fees (about $10,000 per year.) The first year will be funded by donations from alumni and friends of the participating community. The remaining three years will be funded by UCLA.

In effect, for the next three years, UCLA is proposing to match the UBAA scholarship fundraising directed at the top 100 scholars 3 : 1.

The efforts of the UBAA and UCLA are making a difference for Black students, and the results are coming fast. They have raised a staggering amount of money in a very short period of time, and they have only scratched the surface.

For more information about the UBAA, or to make a donation, contact them at (310) 631-8222, or visit their website at www.uclaBlackalumni.org.

Category: Local


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