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UNIVERSITY WATCH : A Gem on the Rim

May 19, 1994

UCLA celebrates a milestone on Friday. Seventy-five years ago, California Gov. William D. Stephens signed the legislation that created the "Southern Branch" of the University of California. The branch became a tree of its own, as the University of California at Los Angeles. The acronym UCLA became official once it won the blessing of former Chancellor Franklin D. Murphy.

UCLA is now as much a part of the life--and image--of this city as sunshine. The great universities of the East Coast may loom larger in the European imagination; but around the Pacific Rim, coming to America means landing in California, and no college sweat shirt is a more prized souvenir than the one with these four letters.

Natives sometimes smile at visitors stocking up on the paraphernalia of a place locally taken so much for granted, but the university's extraordinary achievement--achievement in virtually every area of intellectual endeavor--is what underlies the mystique that sells all those souvenirs. And for maintaining that level of achievement, credit must be given to literally thousands.

In addition to Charles E. Young, whose 25th anniversary as UCLA's chancellor coincides with the university's own anniversary, credit goes to the extraordinary faculty, with its commitment to excellence. That explains its phenomenal ability to inspire thousands of young people each year, from California, from all over the world, to come to its vibrant campus to luxuriate in one of the finest higher educations America can offer.

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