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Supporting thousands of students by funding scholarships for 80 years. Alumnae pay it forward by giving back and providing educational opportunities based on need and merit.
As recent UCLA graduates twelve young women came together in 1936 to found Gold Shield Alumnae of UCLA. They wanted to continue their service to the university and their friendship with each other. They were among the first “UCLA Optimists” as amid the Great Depression they put on their hats and gloves and started hosting tea salons which included UCLA faculty members as speakers. By 1939 they had raised $300 to fund the first two $150 scholarships for entering freshmen. Eighty years later, Gold Shield alumnae continue to give scholarships to students annually with their “Invest in the Promise” campaign.
“Alumni Scholarships played an instrumental role in recruiting both my sister Michelle and I to UCLA,” says alumnus and donor Brian Toy. “The generosity of our donors, combined with our Regents Scholarships, allowed each of us to graduate from UCLA virtually debt-free. This was critical, as both of us knew we would eventually continue to graduate school. But for me, it was really the students and alumni that I met at State Finals that clinched the decision to attend UCLA. It was so exciting to be surrounded by people who were remarkably bright, talented, and accomplished. At the time, I really didn’t know what the term “networking” meant. But in retrospect, the Alumni Association provided an invaluable networking opportunity. The people I met, who would soon become my peers and mentors, left an indelible impression and set the stage for an incredible four years to come.”
Toy continues by stating, “Both Michelle and I were very fortunate to have received support from UCLA Alumni Scholarships. Quite simply, it allowed us to get to where we are today. In particular, we are very grateful to the Gold Shield organization, which sponsored our scholarships. I received the Wolfenden award, while Michelle was sponsored by the Hardwick Family. Because of this support, we decided to create our own scholarship for Gold Shield. So in 2010, we set up an endowment which will fund a freshman alumni scholarship in perpetuity. This is our way of paying it forward to ensure the legacy of UCLA Alumni Scholars.”
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