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University of California, Irvine Medal recipients announced


Four individuals have been selected to receive the University of California, Irvine’s highest honor, the Medal, which annually gives formal and lifelong recognition to those who have made extraordinary contributions to the university’s mission of teaching, research and public service.

“With the Medal, we honor exceptional individuals whose commitment, energy and innovation have helped establish the University of California, Irvine among the nation’s leading universities,” said Chancellor Michael V. Drake, M.D. “The 2007 honorees deserve our highest recognition for increasing the campus’s ability to serve its students and provide ongoing benefits for the community, the nation and the world.”

This year’s honorees:

Gavin S. Herbert is founder, chairman emeritus and the former CEO of Allergan, Inc., a global specialty pharmaceutical and medical device company in Irvine. Through his direction, Allergan has supported the Department of Ophthalmology at UC Irvine for more than 25 years – sponsoring research fellowship programs, collaborating with retina clinical research faculty and providing lab space, research materials, mentoring and development opportunities.

A friend of founding Chancellor Daniel G. Aldrich, Jr., Herbert was instrumental in designing and implementing the Department of Ophthalmology – including the Irving Leopold Chair. He was the first president of the Chancellor’s Club.

He is on the board of directors of Allergan, Doheny Eye Institute, The Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace Foundation, and is vice chairman of the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. He also serves on the advisory board for the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He is a Life Trustee of the University of Southern California.

Herbert is chairman of Roger’s Gardens, a large retail nursery in Corona Del Mar. He also is chairman and founder of Regenesis Bioremediation Products in San Clemente, which manufactures and markets products for environmental remediation.

He lives in San Clemente with his wife, Ninetta.

Edward H. Newland, collegiate water polo’s all-time leader in coaching victories, is coach emeritus of the University of California, Irvine water polo team. Newland came to UC Irvine in 1966 as the men’s water polo and swimming coach. He coached six of UC Irvine’s National Championships while producing 72 All-Americans and 14 UC Irvine Athletics Hall of Fame members. Newland built a 714-345-5 record at UC Irvine, and his teams captured NCAA titles in 1970, 1982 and 1989.

Newland also served as the coach for numerous U.S. National teams and placed 11 UC Irvine student athletes on U.S. Olympic Water Polo teams, including five at the most recent Olympic Games.

Newland’s dedication is so profound that when UC Irvine made the tough decision to eliminate water polo in the early ’90s due to budget cuts, he forfeited his salary and led the fundraising effort to save the program. He subsequently coached UC Irvine men’s water polo teams for more than 10 years at an annual salary of $1.

William L. Pereira, the visionary architect and planner, helped shape Orange County, as designer of the Irvine master plan. Selected by the Regents of the University of California to design a campus in Southern California, Pereira selected the Irvine Ranch as the ideal location for the new university and its surrounding community. He helped bring together the UC Regents and The Irvine Company and as a result, the campus received an initial 1,000 acres from The Irvine Company.

Pereira subsequently provided the company with a master plan for the surrounding community, laying the groundwork for the City of Irvine. Pereira envisioned the campus evolving around two concentric rings, with a park as its center and the northern part of the rings as a campus hub. He believed the university would stimulate the economic, educational and cultural development of Irvine and surrounding communities.

At the time of his death in 1985, Pereira was credited with more than 400 projects, including the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco. He is UC Irvine’s first posthumous recipient of the Medal.

Audrey M. Schneiderman is a community leader, philanthropist and longtime supporter of UC Irvine. She currently serves as an Ambassador of the University of California, Irvine Foundation and is a lifetime member of the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. She is the widow of Dr. Howard A. Schneiderman, who served as the third dean of the School of Biological Sciences from 1970 to 1979.

After her husband’s recruitment to UC Irvine, Schneiderman opened their home to faculty, students and visiting dignitaries, serving as a bridge between campus and community.

Schneiderman made her largest gifts to the campus in honor of her husband, who died in 1990. She established the Howard Schneiderman Fellowship in the School of Biological Sciences, the H.A. Schneiderman Scholarship and the Howard Schneiderman Endowment, and the Howard A. Schneiderman Memorial Bioethics Lecture Series.

Through her widespread volunteer support, Schneiderman regularly shares UC Irvine’s achievements with others. Her generosity, including extraordinary support for the School of Biological Sciences and the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, has provided scholarships, fellowships and opportunities for growth.

This year’s Medal gala, “A Celebration of Stars,” will be held Oct. 6 on campus at the Bren Events Center. An anticipated crowd of more than 800 campus and community leaders will attend the ceremony, and the evening’s proceeds will benefit key campus programs such as Regents’ Scholarships and graduate fellowships.

Hosted by the University of California, Irvine Foundation, the Medal event is one of Orange County’s premier events and the campus’s largest fundraiser. This year’s celebration will be chaired by Richard and Cheryll Ruszat, community leaders and owners of Montessori Schools of Irvine.

Each year a call for nominations for the Medal is sent out to the UC Irvine community, including alumni, faculty, staff and board members, as well as corporate and foundation leaders in the community. A Medal committee reviews the nominations and makes recommendations to the chancellor.

For information on tickets and sponsorships, call Mitchell Spann at 949-824-1655.

About the University of California, Irvine: The University of California, Irvine is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Founded in 1965, UC Irvine is among the fastest-growing University of California campuses, with more than 25,000 undergraduate and graduate students and about 1,800 faculty members. The second-largest employer in dynamic Orange County, UC Irvine contributes an annual economic impact of $3.7 billion. For more UC Irvine news, visit


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