Robin McGrath ’72

Receiving my Alumni Scholarship meant a great deal to me; it meant I was able to attend UCLA. I was from a single-parent family, and things were tight at home. My mother was the only one working to support two children and her parents under one roof. As a California State Scholarship recipient, my fees and books were covered, but since I was a commuting student (from the San Fernando Valley) my Alumni Scholarship paid for my commuting costs for a year. (Gas wasn't nearly as expensive back then.)

What I remember most about UCLA were the people. No matter what your experience was in high school, your personality, your interests, whatever, UCLA had so much going on with such a variety of people and cultures that there was no problem finding great, lifelong friends. I met my husband here in Rally Committee. Our son, Tim ’02, attended UCLA and met his fiancé here as well. So, I guess it runs in the family. Hopefully our daughter, Megan, (may she be lucky enough to get in next year) will have the same wonderful experience.

The value of my UCLA degree came into play by allowing me to advance in my first career in the telecommunications industry. The campus environment prepared me to navigate through a large corporation, like AT&T, and gave me the confidence to deal with new situations, new learning experiences and to apply what I learned in ways I had never thought of before.

Then, later in life, when I felt a change was due, my strong connection with UCLA through the years brought me back to campus for a second career, following an early retirement from telecommunications. I always have thought that working on campus would be great and I was right.

As someone whose education was largely dependent upon the generosity of others, I found myself grateful for the opportunity and anxious to make sure that an affordable public university such as UCLA continued to grow in prestige, not only academically, but in every aspect. I think that too often attendees of larger public institutions feel a sense of entitlement for their education and, therefore, leave after graduation never looking back. I have been happy to be a part of the effort to make UCLA a more personal and private experience. Alumni can feel like they belong to the University family from their first days here and, thus, become Bruins for life.

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