made her Broadway debut with the ʼ80s rock musical “Rock of Ages,” becoming the youngest woman nominated for Best Director of a Musical. Hanggi attended the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and says, “UCLA provided me with a lot of encouragement and nurturing. The school’s amazing resources allowed my imagination to play. If we wanted to put on a show in the theater department, we were allowed to put on a show.”
When "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
" became law in 1993, it forbade gays, bisexuals and lesbians from serving openly in the U.S. military. UCLA faculty and staff, who could be discriminated against due to sexual orientation, organized secret meetings, which grew into the UCLA Lesbian and Gay Faculty/Staff Network. UCLA students Curt Shepard, Ph.D. ʼ89, Albert Aubin, Ed.D. ʼ71, and Director of Admissions Rae Lee Siporin formed a committee to work towards a non-discrimination policy and domestic partner benefits. Shepard developed a proposal to establish a student resource center, providing a template for LGBT centers around the country.
LGBT Campus Resource Center
The UCLA LGBT Center
opened its doors in 1995 under the direction of doctoral student Charles Outcalt. In 1997, Dr. Ronni Sanlo, the founder of Lavender Graduation, was recruited to grow the center. In 1991, UCLA Lambda (LGBTQ) Alumni Association
, one of the oldest and most well-established LGBTQ alumni organizations in the country, organized the first UCLA presence at LA Pride. UCLA established an undergraduate minor in lesbian, gay, and bisexual studies in 1997 and holds an annual Pride Week, including an on-campus Pride Parade, to celebrate UCLA’s LGBTQ + community.
1995 UCLA Men's Basketball National Champs
The 90s were a winning decade for the Bruins, as student-athletes brought home championships in multiple sports. UCLA Men’s Soccer won NCAA Championships in 1990 and 1997, and UCLA Volleyball won in 1993, 1995, 1996 and 1998, led by national champion and Olympians Stein Metzger ʼ96
, Mike Sealy ʼ93
and Jeff Nygaard ʼ95
Women’s sports continued to thrive, as Women’s Volleyball won NCAA Championships in 1990 and 1991, led by three-time Olympian Holly McPeak ʼ95
and four-time All-American Elaine Youngs ʼ93
, and Women’s Golf also won in 1991. Pitcher Lisa Fernandez ʼ95
, now UCLA softball coach, led the Bruins to two national championships, in 1990 and 1992. UCLA added water polo and soccer in the 90s, although, due to the university-wide financial crisis, two successful men’s Olympic sports, gymnastics and swimming, were eliminated.
This winning streak was headlined by Men’s Basketball’s unprecedented 11th national championship in 1995. Coach Jim Harrick
revived the program, leading the team to their best record since Coach Wooden’s departure. Their 1995 March Madness run was highlighted by a length-of-the-court drive in 4.8 seconds by Tyus Edney ʼ95 to hit the buzzer beater against the University of Missouri. Following the title game, as many as 4,000 fans poured into the streets of Westwood to celebrate. Called “Wild Westwood
” by the LA Times, some in the crowd threw bottles and overturned a radio station van. Two hundred officers, many in riot gear, fired rubber bullets to push back the revelers, and 15 people were arrested. The next day, hundreds of jubilant fans met the team at Los Angeles International Airport on their return from Seattle.
Mebrāhtōm (Meb) Keflezighi ʼ99
Meb Keflezighi ʼ99 after winning Boston Marathon
was the only athlete in history to win the two most storied marathons in the U.S. as well as an Olympic medal, taking the silver in the marathon at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, and winning the New York City Marathon in 2009 and the emotionally charged Boston Marathon in 2014. Born in Eritrea, he fled the war-torn country with his family. The runner holds UCLA’s record for fastest times in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters. Keflezighi graduated a year after receiving his American citizenship, and has told the New York Times, “When you dream, you dream. You don’t give up.”
UCLA Football in the 90s will be remembered for their unparalleled eight-game winning streak over crosstown rival USC (1991-1998). Coach Terry Donahue ʼ67, M.S. ʼ77, who holds the most conference wins of any football head coach in both UCLA and Pac-10 Conference history, and Bob Toledo, who led the 1996 Bruins to a stunning comeback win over USC, brought the Victory Bell home to Westwood for most of the decade.
UCLA Football player Ramogi Huma ʼ99, M.P.H. ʼ01
, became an advocate for college athletes’ rights. With many teammates on full athletic scholarships living below the poverty line, Huma founded a group to advocate for student athletes. Now the nonprofit National College Players Association (NCPA), they have won victories including safety rules that help prevent workout-related deaths.
ADVANCES IN SCIENCE AND MEDICINE
In the 90s, new technology paved the way for innovative solutions. New discoveries and medical advances opened up possibilities beyond what doctors thought was possible. UCLA expanded medical programs, making great strides in cancer treatment, nursing and surgical procedures.
UCLA began clinical trials, conducted by oncologist Dennis Slamon, to test the effectiveness of a revolutionary breast cancer treatment, Herceptin, which prevents the uncontrolled growth of breast cancer cells. Herceptin gained FDA approval in 1998 and more than three million patients around the world have been treated with the drug.
The Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA
(then the UCLA Children’s Hospital) opened in 1996. The following year, UCLA unveiled plans to rebuild the medical sciences center using awards from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and dedicated the Gonda (Goldschmied) Neuroscience and Genetics Research Center, home to UCLA’s Department of Human Genetics and the Brain Research Institute.
Now the largest program in the country, UCLA’s Nurse Practitioner program was established in 1994. By 1999, it had five specialized nurse practitioner programs: acute care, family, gerontology, oncology and pediatric. In 1996, the Regents approved the change in the master’s degree designation to Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.). Four doctoral students - Evelyn Calvillo, Nancy Fawzy, Barbara Riegel and Pam Shuler - were the first to graduate with the (D.N.Sc.) degree, in 1991.
UCLA professors were honored for their great strides in scientific research. Recognized worldwide for her contributions to brain research in 1994, Dr. Elizabeth Neufeld
won the National Medal of Science for her groundbreaking work on the genetic basis for metabolic diseases, specifically lysosomal storage. The 1997 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Paul Boyer
, professor emeritus of biochemistry, for his pioneering work on enzymes essential to the formation of cellular energy. And in 1998, pharmacologist Louis J. Ignarro
was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research showing that nitric oxide helps the body regulate key functions, including blood pressure.
UCLA professor of psychiatry and pharmacology Murray Jarvik
was inspired to join a team of UCLA doctors to invent the nicotine patch. Jarvik had observed his wife, Lissy, struggle to quit smoking. Due to a lack of funding, Jarvik and postdoctoral student Jed Rose tested the patch on themselves. This research paved the way for the development of commercial nicotine patches, delivering nicotine through the skin and alleviating the urge to smoke. The patch became available by prescription in 1992, and as an over-the-counter treatment in 1996.
As the 1900s drew to a close, fears of Y2K heated up, as a computer programming shortcut using two digits for the year was expected to cause havoc when the date changed from 1999 to 2000. The new century would bring more growth, innovative discoveries, activism and the best and the brightest to campus to continue the task of improving the world for the better.