UCLA Renames Center to Honor Ralph BuncheLOS ANGELES
The University of California Los Angeles honored one of its most distinguished alumni last month during a ceremony to rename its African American Studies center to the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies.
“We could think of no more worthy individual after whom to name the center,” says the center’s director Darnell Hunt. “UCLA valedictorian, Nobel Prize winner, scholar of race relations, tireless advocate for civil rights — Dr. Ralph J. Bunche most perfectly embodies all of the elements that have defined our work at the center for the past 35 years, as well as the ideals that will inspire this work in the future.”
Bunche, the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in governmental and international relations at Harvard University, is widely known for his role in negotiating the landmark Palestine Accord between the new state of Israel and the Arab nations in 1949. As well, he was an outspoken advocate for civil rights in the United States and one of the most important scholars on U.S. race relations in the 20th century.
The renaming ceremony kicks off a year of UCLA commemorations honoring the 100th anniversary of Bunche’s birth. Events include academic programs and conferences that will explore his legacy and a comprehensive lesson plan for grades 9-12 that supports learning about Bunche.
“Bunche’s achievements in scholarship, diplomacy and civil rights were monumental and deserve widespread recognition,” says Dr. Scott Waugh, UCLA’s dean of social sciences and chair of the Ralph Bunche Centenary Los Angeles Planning committee. “UCLA is proud to have a place in that legacy and to participate with others in Los Angeles and around the country in bringing greater awareness of Bunche’s accomplishments.”
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