Alaska's Senior Senator honored with UCLA'S highest Alumni Honor

Posted: Tuesday, June 01, 2004

U.S. Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) was recently honored with the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)'s Edward A. Dickson Alumnus of the Year Award. Stevens is the first Alaskan to receive the honor, which is UCLA's oldest and highest alumni tribute. Since 1946 the honor has been bestowed annually to a recipient who has "a special and outstanding service to UCLA, or by personal achievement, has brought great honor or distinction to the University."

Stevens graduated from UCLA in 1947 with a degree in Political Science. "UCLA put me on a trail that later led to our last frontier and ultimately the halls of the U.S. Senate," said Stevens at the award's ceremony. Prior to his service in World War II, Stevens attended Oregon State University as an aeronautical engineering major. "When the war was over my trip home was on a 'baby-flattop' aircraft carrier. Conversations we had during that trip about what was the cause of 'our war' intrigued me. I changed my mind about returning to Oregon State and sought to become a student at UCLA, abandoning my aeronautical engineering major to study political science. That decision and UCLA's open door policy for veterans changed my life," said Stevens.

Stevens was joined at the event by his wife Catherine, daughter Lily, friend and former Olympian Donna de Varona, and fraternity brothers from UCLA's Delta Kappa Epsilon. Senator Stevens is the first member of the U.S. Senate to receive the Edward A. Dickson Alumnus of the Year Award. Past recipients include Hall of Fame baseball player Jackie Robinson (1962), director Francis Ford Coppola (1975), and tennis star and AIDS activist Arthur Ashe (1993)."Ted is a person who takes on initiatives with passion and a relentless pursuit of the truth. While Ted obviously has the best interests of his home state of Alaska as a priority, his greatest priority is in regards to what is best for our country," said Dr. Michael Phelps of the UCLA School of Medicine.

Senator Stevens is a life member of the UCLA Alumni Association and received the Alumni Association's Professional Achievement Award in 1971, as well as UCLA's Public Service Award in 1984.

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