Michael Drake and Jack Toan
Chancellor Michael Drake and Wells Fargo's Jack Toan share a moment at the Awards 42 event Thursday.

UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake was recognized Thursday, May 2, at “Awards 42,” an Orange County Human Relations Commission event celebrating community members who have advanced human relations.

The commission cited Drake for his commitment to the principle that all perspectives and opinions should be heard in the academic environment.

“He has made it a priority to foster a climate at UC Irvine where students of all backgrounds feel safe,” the panel said. “His leadership has helped create an increasingly diverse university tempered by the voice of reason in a democratic society.”

Additional honorees were: Lake Forest teen Jonah Mowry, who stood up for himself and became the national symbol of courage in the face of bullying; Fullerton resident Barbara Jennings, a tireless advocate for the hungry and homeless; San Clemente resident Geraldine Gerken, a lifelong supporter of women’s rights;  We Are Anaheim, Somos Anaheim, a community-based, multicultural volunteer group promoting peace, unity and progress; and Wells Fargo, which won the Diversity in Business award and was represented by Jack Toan, regional vice president, community affairs, and UC Irvine alumnus.

Drake said he felt privileged to stand with the other recipients.

“I appreciate the work of the commission, which is making a better community for all of us, and particularly for the most vulnerable among us,” he said. “All the people in this room impress, inspire and uplift me by their efforts in these difficult times. Thank you for what you do.”