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