Daily Bruin Scholarship Endowment

As UCLA approached its centennial, the award-winning newspaper of record of the University and the community of Westwood, The UCLA Daily Bruin, was confronting enormous challenges that have battered local newspapers across the country. Revenues have fallen dramatically and stipends that once paid apartment rent of student-staffers declined drastically. It was evident that college newspapers will only survive and thrive into the next century with the fervent and sustained support of the alumni, as demonstrated by Daily Bruin’s peers across the nation.

In response to the challenge at the alma mater, Daily Bruin alums Robina Riccitiello ’84, Zach Aron ’94, and Lawrence Ma ’95, in association with Chancellor Gene Block’s UCLA Centennial Scholarship Match Initiative, established the $112,500 Daily Bruin Scholarship Endowment (the “Endowment”) in the summer of 2019.

Robina, Zach and Lawrence each benefited enormously from their Daily Bruin experience. The trials and tribulations of putting out the third-largest newspaper in Los Angeles provided an enhanced educational experience and professional development opportunity that have shaped and prepared each of them for their careers. Now a journalist and film producer, Robina honed her skills in the Daily Bruin Advertising and News departments. Zach, a Principal at Deloitte Consulting, and Lawrence, a business and real estate lawyer, were colleagues at Daily Bruin Sports, where they met and reported from across the Pac-10 territory and beyond. Ensuring that this experience will be accessible for generations to follow at Kerckhoff became a shared imperative for Robina, Zach and Lawrence.

The Endowment founders’ hope that the Endowment will inspire and spawn more funds in support of The Bruin materialized almost immediately, as in 2021, the Endowment was proud to assist in the establishment of the McNary Memorial Endowment in memory of Daily Bruin alumnus, Dave McNary ‘74. In 2023, the Endowment itself became fully funded and awarded a $5,000 need-based scholarship to UCLA Political Science major and Assistant News Editor, Sharla Steinman ’24.

The Endowment is a part of a comprehensive strategy developed in partnership with the Daily Bruin Alumni Network to provide impactful support for DB staffers pursuing careers in journalism. To augment the merit-based DB Scholarship Program, the Endowment In 2024-25 will fund two need-based scholarships of $2500 each to student-staffers from communities historically under-represented in professional journalism.

In 2025-26, the founders hope to establish an annual enterprise reporting grant for the Daily Bruin, inspired by the Bridget O’Brien Memorial Scholarship of 2007-2016. The O’Brien program allowed student-staffers to pursue stories abroad, such as basketball recruiting in Cameroon and the aftermath of Hurricane Haiyan in the Philippines, gaining valuable reporting experience while opening doors for the participants at the nation’s top newspapers. Teams of Daily Bruin staffers will be invited to prepare grant proposals and pitch their enterprise story in a competition judged by UCLA professors with journalism credentials.

To contribute now to the Daily Bruin Scholarship Endowment, please (1) visit our giving page, or (2) Send a check made out to “The UCLA Foundation,” with “Daily Bruin Scholarship Endowment” on the memo line, to:

The UCLA Foundation
P.O. Box 7145
Pasadena, CA 91109-9903

To learn more about the Daily Bruin Scholarship Endowment, please contact Sandra Gonzalez, Assistant Director Development of Alumni Scholarships, UCLA Development, at (310) 844-3157 or sgonzalez@support.ucla.edu.

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