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Bergeson to receive top UCI honor

July 31, 2003

Deirdre Newman

Former state Secretary of Education Marian Bergeson will receive UC

Irvine's most distinguished honor, the UC Irvine Medal, for her

exceptional support for the campus' mission of teaching, research and

public service.

Bergeson and three other medal winners will be recognized at a

dinner ceremony in November.

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"The dedication and support from these outstanding individuals

advances the mission, spirit and vision of the university in myriad

ways," Chancellor Ralph Cicerone said in a press release. "The medal

ceremony is a wonderful way to thank them for paving the way to a

brighter future for UCI's students, faculty, staff and programs."

Bergeson said she was honored by her selection.

The former state secretary of education, state legislator and

Orange County supervisor has been an adamant advocate for UCI at the

local, state, regional and federal levels.

She has been a UCI Foundation ambassador since 1999, which entails

acting as a liaison between the interests of the community and the

university.

"It's been a real privilege to serve in that capacity," Bergeson

said.

She also is a member of the Center for the Study of Democracy's

Leadership Council, which offers graduate students the chance to get

involved in the study of democracy on a worldwide basis. The

leadership council helps provide financial support through

fundraisers.

Bergeson helped establish the neonatal unit at UCI Medical Center

and served on the College of Medicine's Dean's Community Advisory

Board. She said she worked a lot with prenatal health care as a state

legislator and was inspired to assist in the start of the center

after going to visit it.

"I was interested in seeing what we could do to assist mothers and

their babies," Bergeson said. "I've worked with health issues over

the years in many ways at UCI Medical Center and through the county.

It's a continuing relationship."

The other three medal recipients are Dr. Philip DiSaia, chief of

gynecology and gynecologic oncology at UCI Medial Center; and

Elizabeth and John Stahr, community leaders and prominent supporters

of UCI.

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