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Actor, director and children's advocate Rob Reiner will receive the UCLA Medal, the university's highest honor, and address graduates June 18 at School of Public Health commencement ceremonies in recognition of his contributions to the health and well-being of children.
Reiner and his wife, Michele Singer Reiner, co-founded the I Am Your Child Campaign and Foundation, a national endeavor to increase public spending on early childhood programs. Reiner subsequently helped lead the passage of California's Proposition 10, which will generate $760 million annually for early childhood programs from the creation of a new tobacco tax. He also chairs the California Children and Families Commission.
"Rob Reiner's efforts to improve the lives of America's children through the rapidly expanding educational efforts of I Am Your Child mirror his widely recognized dedication to his craft in the film and television industry," said Dean Abdelmonem A. Afifi of the School of Public Health. "The UCLA Medal is a fitting tribute to Mr. Reiner's record of public service."
The commencement ceremonies are scheduled for 10 to 11:30 a.m. June 18 at Royce Hall on the UCLA campus. A reception will follow at The Anderson School Alumni Quad.
The ceremony will be the last as dean for Afifi, who is scheduled to step down June 30 after 15 years at the school's helm. Afifi is the longest-serving dean in the school's history, the nation's second-longest serving public health dean, and the senior dean currently serving at UCLA. He leads a school that has become recognized as a leader in public health research, education and community service.
The school is comprised of five departments: Biostatistics, Community Health Sciences, Environmental Health Science (which houses the interdepartmental program of Environmental Science and Engineering,) Epidemiology and Health Services. Approximately 220 students graduate each year with advanced degrees from the various programs.
The UCLA Medal was created in 1979 to pay tribute to national and international leaders in government, education, science, industry, the arts and culture, as well as key figures in UCLA's development into one of the world's finest research universities.