UCLA Gala Wraps Gifts to Academics

Times Staff Writer

UCLA is bursting with pride over the completion and success of its $355-million campaign in private gifts for academics. The stars burst, too, the weekend of April 7-8.

Lauro F. Cavazos Jr., U.S. secretary of education, will fly in to deliver the convocation keynote address April 7 at Royce Hall. The next evening about 800 leading friends will raise the rafters at a gala sparked by Gregory Peck, Mel Torme and Henry Mancini. Chancellor Charles Young and wife, Sue, UCLA campaign national chairman James A. Collins and his wife, Carol, and John E. and Marion Anderson, UCLA campaign celebrations honorary chairmen, are promising “a memorable evening.”

The town’s stalwarts have sent acceptances. A few: Peter and Helen Bing, Edward and Hannah Carter, Gordon and Ann Getty, Philip and Mary Hawley, Randolph A. Hearst III, Lester and Carolbeth Korn, Neil Simon, Leonard and Dorothy Straus, Grant Tinker, Jerry and Jane Weintraub.

BIG CHANGE: No doubt, many will be disappointed to learn that the Huntington Library’s annual Christmas party, a herald to the holidays, is being changed from December to October. Marion Jorgensen, chairman of the Board of Overseers, and R. Stanton Avery, chairman of the Board of Trustees, have announced the black-tie dinner dance will be Oct. 6.


At the Huntington’s early Christmas parties, the affairs were held in the art gallery, guests seated below Stuarts and Turners, the paintings swathed in pine and mistletoe. As the party grew, the location was moved to the tented south terrace. But weather intervened. Last’s year’s gala was canceled when high winds demolished the tent set up two days prior to the party. Hope for a starlit night in October.

OPERA BUFFING: When the Los Angeles Music Center Opera League saluted donors to its benefit-by-mail fantasy raffle Wednesday evening at Figueroa Plaza, the salmon aquavit wrapped around hearts of palm was divine. Ditto the courses that followed--garlic buttered shrimp, rack of veal, lemon tart Bel-Air and chocolate truffles. The party was the gift of Marilyn and Robert Ehrman, owners of prominent caterers, Rococo.

Marilyn has been a dynamo in the fund-raiser. Thanking her husband in the tree-lit atrium where dinner was served over magenta skirted tables topped with gray moire, she noted, “He said I deserved to be pampered.”

The evening was also the occasion for Joan Thompson, league president, and a committee including Alice Coulombe, Carol Henry, Toni Bird, Pat Moreno and Vera O’Larry, to reveal that only six weeks into the benefit, 80% of the goal of $150,000 is there. Among donors getting plaudits were Jim and Barbara Richardson (he’s regional vice president of Mazda and its 140 dealers--they’ve donated a Mazda 929 to the raffle), Roberta Herbison, Tiffany vice president, and Francine Bardot, manager of Hermes in Beverly Hills.

Before dessert, Music Center Opera general director Peter Hemmings skipped off to see that the dress rehearsal of “Otello” was going well. It was, and in due course the crowd drove to the Music Center to sit in The Founders and see Placido Domingo in full regalia. Among the revelers was Dorothy Forman, who gave the first $1 million to the Music Center in the opera’s current major campaign, and Warner Henry, who is heading the triumphant effort to collect Opera Angels at $1 million a halo--he’s currently at six-plus.

QUIPS: James P. Miscoll, executive vice president of the Bank of America, and Mayor Tom Bradley did the introductions of the Right Hon. Lord Mayor Councillor Ben Briscoe of Dublin, Ireland, Wednesday at lunch on the bank’s 50th floor. Former Ambassador to Ireland Peter Dailey sat at the head table, along with the city’s chief of protocol Bee Canterbury Lavery (wearing her royal order of the Polar Star received not long ago from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden).

Briscoe, in town to tout the advantages of investing in Ireland, received warm greetings, and he came armed with gifts for all: a Waterford crystal bowl for the mayor, rosary beads for Bishop John Ward and Sister Magdalen Coughlin, president of Mount St. Mary’s College. For Rabbi Paul Dubin, executive vice president, Board of Rabbis of Southern California, Briscoe, who is Jewish, produced a green yarmulke--to be worn on occasions such as St. Patrick’s Day.

MORE OSCAR GLAMOUR: Excited about Oscars, Canadian Consul General Joan Winser and Sam Wendel of Telefilm Canada host a reception Tuesday evening at the Canadian consular residence to salute the National Film Board of Canada, which receives an honorary Academy Award on its 50th anniversary, and the Canadian nominees who include Richard Williams, up for an Oscar for best achievement in visual effects for “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.”


CIRCLE RED: The Casa Colina Foundation, Pomona, pays tribute to athletes of the VIIIth Games of the Paralympics at its seventh annual “Tribute to Courage” benefit dinner Tuesday at the Irvine Hilton and Towers in Irvine. Harry Bubb, chairman and CEO of Pacific Mutual of Newport Beach, is chairman; he says the purpose is to honor physically challenged men and women as true athletes. Each year the foundation honors disabled individuals for outstanding accomplishments.

PLAUDITS: To the Italian Trade Commission on the opening of “Marmo: The New Italian Stone Age,” which continues through April 30 at the California Museum of Science and Industry. Among those in the smart crowd were Italian Ambassador Rinaldo Petrignani of Washington, Irving and Jean Stone, Italian Consul General Alberto Boniver and his wife, Suzy, and Nelson and Sharon Rising . . .

To Carol Walker, new president of The Inner Circle, sole support group of the Los Angeles Children’s Museum . . .

To the Big Sisters of Los Angeles, honoring Robert and Kay Dockson as Couple of the Year; and, as Women of Achievement, Maude Chasen, Sister Magdalen Coughlin and Dolores Sanchez. Lilly Lee and Nathan Shapell were dinner chairs for the affair last week at the Beverly Wilshire.


NEW: There’s a new public forum, the City Club of Los Angeles. George Mitrovich, president, announces the first event of the new membership group will be a dinner Thursday at the Century Plaza featuring George Plimpton, editor of The Paris Review. The dinner will benefit the Greater Los Angeles Partnership for the Homeless and the United Negro College Fund. A dimension of the new forum will be its pledge to donate 60% of profits above operating costs to Los Angeles area charities.

The new support council of the Laguna Art Museum calls itself The Exhibitionists. They host a fund-raiser April 10 in the elegant surroundings of Gustaf Anders in Costa Mesa. It’s a grand opening for the restaurant’s partners Gustaf Magnuson and Ulf Anders Standberg and the premiere for The Exhibitionists and their new president Debbie Bremner. The purpose will be to underwrite one exhibition at the museum each year and further art education.

AGENDA: Jean Smith, wife of former U.S. Atty. Gen. William French Smith, addresses the Pasadena Alumnae Assn. of Kappa Kappa Gamma on “White House Impressions” Thursday at a Valley Hunt Club luncheon . . .