Around Town: UC Irvine ranked among nation’s top-10 public universities

UC Irvine graduates gather around the school's Anteater mascot on June 18, 2012.
UC Irvine graduates gather around the school’s Anteater mascot on June 18, 2012.
(Steve Georges)

UC Irvine placed eighth in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 rankings for the top public universities, marking the sixth consecutive year that the college has placed in the top 10.

UCI ranks with other UC campuses and other public universities such as the University of Michigan, the University of Virginia and the University of Florida.

The list, released on Monday, also ranks UCI as 35th among all U.S. universities, both public and private.

“I am delighted that U.S. News & World Report has once again recognized UCI’s overall excellence by including us in its listing of the top 10 public universities in the nation,” Chancellor Howard Gillman said in a statement. “This ranking is testament to the hard work and dedication of our extraordinary faculty, outstanding staff and talented students.”

Sawdust Art Festival to open outdoor marketplace

The Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach will open its outdoor marketplace place on Saturday, providing people with a chance to shop for the arts, as well as enjoy a meal outside and take in live music.

Close to 100 artists will rotate through 48 booths on site every weekend during the art festival, presenting an opportunity to shop directly from the artists themselves.

There will also be two entertainment stages and four concession stands.

The outdoor marketplace will be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $10, but entry is free for children age 12 and under. The event will run through Oct. 25.

Safety protocols implemented include a maximum capacity of 250 guests at one time. Masks are mandatory for artists, staff members and patrons.

Indicators for how to maintain social distancing will be placed throughout the grounds of the eucalyptus grove. Restrooms, dining areas and touchpoints will be repeatedly sanitized.

Advance tickets for the event can be purchased at

Sue J. Gross Foundation donates $1 million to Hoag

The Hoag Hospital Foundation received a $1-million gift from the Sue J. Gross Foundation to Hoag’s Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Center, which provides specialized treatment for chronic or non-healing wounds such as sores or wounds that have not significantly improved from conventional treatments.

As thanks for the gift, the center will be renamed the Sally & Joseph Warpinski Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Center in honor of Sue Gross’ sister and brother-in-law.

The family credits Hoag with saving Joseph Warpinski’s life.

“We don’t think wound care receives the recognition it deserves as most of us don’t realize just how dire your situation can become — and how important the work the doctors in this field do is — until you experience it for yourself or through a loved one,” Warpkinski said in a statement. “Because of this, we are so pleased and honored to have this center named after us.

Flynn Andrizzi, president of the Hoag Hospital Foundation, said that the gift from the Sue J. Gross Foundation is the “latest example of Sue’s remarkable generosity and lifelong affection for Orange County and her concern for the well-being of its residents.”

“Her major contribution joins a long list of others she has directed to Hoag, and underscores her richly deserved reputation as one of California’s most generous and compassionate philanthropists,” Andrizzi said.

Tilly’s golf tournament to raise funds for teenagers

Tilly’s Life Center — an Irvine nonprofit whose programs empower teenagers to cope with adversity, crisis and tough decisions — invites the public to participate in its annual golf tournament Monday at Aliso Viejo Country Club.

Till & Ed’s Excellent Golf Adventure starts at 9 a.m. and includes lots of contests, prizes, giveaways, food, drinks and more. Those who purchase raffle tickets will be entered to win prizes and with the purchase of a contest card, golfers can win a play-and-stay weekend in Cabo San Lucas in Mexico.

A contest card is $100, and foursomes can register to play for $3,200. Raffle tickets can be purchased at $5 for 25, or $30 for 100.

COVID-19 protocols will be in place during the event to ensure the health and safety of participants, including the wearing or masks or shields in common areas, mandatory temperature checks on arrival, social distancing and staggered tee times, among other precautions. Sanitizing stations will be available at all contact locations and in golf carts, which are intended for single player use, or double occupancy with a waiver.

Tilly Levine, co-founder of the popular retail clothing and accessory store Tilly’s, will be on hand at Monday’s charity event to speak with participants. The annual fundraising events support TLC’s youth-focused programs, which challenge teenagers to express their feelings through roleplaying, art, journaling, meditation and other fun activities.

The Aliso Viejo Country Club is at 33 Santa Barbara Drive in Aliso Viejo. To register for Till & Ed’s Excellent Golf Adventure, contact To donate to the cause or to learn more, visit

Northwestern Mutual–O.C. donates $50,000 to fight childhood cancer

Financial planner Northwestern Mutual–Orange County was selected as a 2020 Childhood Cancer Impact Award recipient by the Northwestern Mutual Foundation, which recognized eight of its offices nationwide that have gone “above and beyond” for the company’s efforts to fight childhood cancer.

The office, based in Newport Beach, received a $50,000 grant for the Jessie Rees Foundation. The office has participated in sponsorship of various events, including the upcoming 10th annual Never Ever Give Up Golf Classic and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month Virtual Fun Run.

“Our team members have seen how childhood cancer impacts families not only throughout Orange County, but across the country,” said Tim Mulroy, managing partner, in a statement.

“By partnering with childhood cancer programs, we are connecting with something bigger than ourselves — we are helping, and we are giving back,” Mulroy said.

More than $2 million in grants have been donated to childhood cancer-related organizations through the Northwestern Mutual’s Childhood Cancer Impact Awards since its inception.

Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce hosts second City Council candidates forum

The Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce is virtually hosting its second Huntington Beach City Council candidates forum on Thursday, starting at 5:30 p.m.

The forum, scheduled for two hours, will be held on Zoom and will be moderated. Advance registration is recommended to receive the Zoom link ahead of the event.

There are 15 candidates running for Huntington Beach City Council, with three spots available on Election Day Nov. 3. The first candidates forum on Aug. 18 drew more than 150 attendees.

For more information or to register, visit

Fountain Valley Fire Department open house

The Fountain Valley Fire Department will host a drive-through open house event at Mile Square Park on Oct. 10 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Residents will be asked to enter the open house route at Brookhurst Street and Heil Avenue and follow signs that will take drivers and passengers along a path with a view of fire department vehicles, including a fire engine and an ambulance.

Firefighters will distribute a limited number of souvenir bags to elementary school children that will include information on Fire Prevention Week, kitchen safety and coloring sheets, Fountain Valley Fire Chief Assistant Julieann Parente said. She added that fire helmets would be handed out.

The annual event, which is normally held at the fire station, was relocated to Mile Square Park because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Fire Prevention Week, running Oct. 5-10, will feature a “Serve up Fire Safety in the Kitchen” campaign. Tips provided by the Fire Department on its public education page include never leaving cooking food unattended, remembering to turn off appliances, avoiding overloading electrical outlets and keeping pot handles out of the reach of children.

Big West Conference forming Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee

The Big West Conference announced Monday that it is forming a standing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee, working under the name Big West Undivided.

The committee will be comprised of one administrator and one student-athlete from each of the Big West’s 11 universities, and represents the conference’s efforts to combat racism, fight for social justice and support the Black Lives Matter movement and other nonviolent organizations.

UC Irvine will be represented on the committee by law professor Shauhin Talesh, and Joy Akaegbu-Cleveland of the women’s basketball team. The committee will be chaired by UC San Diego Athletic Director Earl Edwards, and the vice chair is Evann Smith of UC Santa Barbara women’s soccer.

Big West Undivided aims to operate under four pillars: education, empowerment, accountability and change.

The committee will meet monthly and plans to work with the conference’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee on voter initiatives encouraging student-athletes to take part in the electoral process by providing nonpartisan resources and registration information.

Orange County Soccer Club Foundation makes donation to Second Harvest Food Bank

The Orange County Soccer Club Community Foundation made a $15,000 donation to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County last week.

A grant from Qatar’s embassy in the U. S. helped fund the donation, which will go toward assisting Orange County residents facing food insecurity because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Second Harvest Food Bank has served more than 500,000 families, providing those facing a food shortage with enough groceries to last weeks. The organization distributed more than 42 million pounds of food to families in need last year.

Qatar is slated to be the host nation for the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

Begonia show at Sherman Library & Gardens

The Southern California Begonia Society will be holding a judged show and sale of locally grown begonias at Sherman Library & Gardens at 2647 E. Coast Hwy. in Newport Beach on Saturday, starting at 10:30 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m.

A large selection of begonias, not typically for sale in local nurseries, will be available for purchase. Attendance to the show is free with garden admission.

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