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The Best of
Class Notes – 2018

Class Notes chronicles important events in the lives of UCLA alumni – from changes in employment to accolades for achievement to the passing of our valued UCLA family members. We’ve assembled the highlights from this past year.

Christine Simmons '98

Christine Simmons ’98 (Gold member) has been hired as chief operating officer of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The immediate past president of the UCLA Alumni Association Board, a UC Regent-designate and currently president and COO of the Los Angeles Sparks, Simmons will assume her new role in January.

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Jonathan Gold ’82

Jonathan Gold ’82, the first food critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, passed away July 21 of pancreatic cancer. He was 57. A beloved figure in his native Los Angeles, Gold was a music major at UCLA and a music critic for LA Weekly before starting a food column for the paper, often infusing his restaurant reviews with wide-ranging pop culture references.

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Willie Naulls ’78

Willie Naulls ’78, a 6’6″ forward and integration pioneer who earned All-American honors in 1956 and went on to a stellar NBA career, passed away on Nov. 22 at his home in Laguna Niguel. He was 84.

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Linda Oubré ’80

Linda Oubré ’80, Ed.D. (Life Member), has been appointed Whittier College’s 15th president and will take office on July 1, 2018. She will be the first person of color to lead the institution, which was founded in 1887.

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William Keene ’49, ’52

William B. Keene ’49, ’52, who in his accomplished life was a judge, UC regent, TV star and Alumni Association president, passed away on Jan. 10 at his home in Manhattan Beach surrounded by his family, one month shy of his 93rd birthday.

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Audrey Wells, M.F.A. ’89

Screenwriter and director Audrey Wells, M.F.A. ’89, whose credits include “Under The Tuscan Sun,” “Guinevere” and last-year’s “A Dog’s Purpose,” passed away Oct. 4 after a five-year battle with cancer. She was 58.

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Martine Rothblatt ’77, J.D. ’81, MBA ’81

Lawyer, medical ethicist, futurist, pilot, triathlete, parent, advocate for transgender rights and world-changing technologist Martine Rothblatt ’77, J.D. ’81, MBA ’81, was presented Jan. 11 with the UCLA Medal, the highest campus honor.

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Sean E. Wang ’01, M.A. ’02, Ph.D. ’13

Sean E. Wang ’01, M.A. ’02, Ph.D. ’13 – described by many who knew him as being unsurpassed in his love for UCLA athletics, to the extent that he rarely missed a game – passed away suddenly on May 23.

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Juana Hernandez ’09

Juana Hernandez ’09 (Life member) was recently recognized as one of “40 Under 40” rising civic leaders in Los Angeles County. The annual awards ceremony honors Los Angeles leaders from the government, philanthropic, nonprofit and private sectors.

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Tyler Honeycutt (’09-’11)

Former Bruin basketball standout Tyler Honeycutt died on July 7 in Sherman Oaks. He was 27. Honeycutt played two years for UCLA. He was named to the Pac-10 all-freshman team in 2010 and earned first-team all-conference honors as a sophomore the following year.

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These Bruins are a small subset of the many whose accomplishments and memories we honored in 2018. If you would like your story, or that of a fellow Bruin, celebrated in a Class Note, please visit our website or email us at classnotes@support.ucla.edu. Please indicate your name and include the subject’s name and class year(s).