Irvine, Calif., March 14, 2016 — The University of California, Irvine Alumni Association will bestow its highest honor, the Lauds & Laurels Extraordinarius award, on Michael P. Clark, M.A. ’73, Ph.D. ’77, vice provost for academic planning and professor of English. Clark was instrumental in creating the UCI School of Law, planning and obtaining approvals in its earliest stages. His thorough work is credited with helping the school obtain full accreditation from the American Bar Association only five years after opening its doors.

As an alumnus, professor, department chair, dean, vice provost and provost, Clark strove to build the reputation of UCI as a distinguished national research university. He began his professional career at UCI as a member of the English department, where he earned his doctorate. Clark is a highly respected scholar of early American literature, literary theory, contemporary U.S. fiction and popular culture, as well as an ongoing champion of scholarship and leadership. He has played key roles in creating new academic programs in nursing, pharmaceutical sciences, education and statistics. Known for his high level of integrity, calm demeanor and thoughtful consensus building, Clark is especially deserving of the Extraordinarius award, which honors an extraordinary individual who best exemplifies the spirit and purpose of UCI.

Also being honored at the 46th annual Lauds & Laurels ceremony on May 12 is Travis Huxman, professor of ecology & evolutionary biology, who will receive the Outstanding University Service award. Huxman directs the UCI Sustainability Initiative, the Center for Environmental Biology and the Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center.

Julia Lupton, professor of English, director of Humanities Commons, associate dean for humanities research and faculty director of Illuminations: The Chancellor’s Arts & Culture Initiative, will receive this year’s Outstanding Faculty Achievement award. Lupton has served UCI in a variety of faculty and administrative positions, including chair of the Department of English. She is an outstanding Renaissance scholar and one of the world’s leading Shakespeare experts, garnering the highest national honor for humanities scholars when she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2013-14. She is extensively published, and four of her books on Shakespeare and Renaissance literature are significant influences on contemporary scholarship about the Elizabethan world.

Eleven Distinguished Alumni will also be recognized:

  • Randall Smith ’09, M.F.A. ’12 – Claire Trevor School of the Arts; performing artist and professor of dance
  • Lester Ng ’94 – Francisco J. Ayala School of Biological Sciences; entrepreneur
  • Scott Stowell, MBA ’85 – The Paul Merage School of Business; executive chairman of CalAtlantic Group Inc.
  • Feliza Ortiz-Licon, Ed.D. ’08 – School of Education; senior director of K-16 education programs for the National Council of La Raza and Gov. Jerry Brown appointee to the California State Board of Education
  • Bernard Harguindeguy ’81 – The Henry Samueli School of Engineering; founder and CEO of Elastic Beam
  • Keith Rosten ’78 – School of Humanities; founder of SolarTown
  • Steven Anderson ’86 – Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences; managing partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan
  • David Lieu, M.D. ’79 – School of Medicine; founder and physician at the Fine Needle Aspiration Group
  • Michl Binderbauer, M.S. ’93, Ph.D. ’96 – School of Physical Sciences; chief technology officer at Tri Alpha Energy
  • Jennifer Friend ’95 – School of Social Ecology; president and CEO of the Project Hope Alliance and member of the UCI Alumni Association board of directors
  • Geoffrey R. Pyatt ’85 – School of Social Sciences; United States ambassador to Ukraine

Additional honorees include Outstanding Undergraduate Student Cody Lee of the School of Social Ecology; Outstanding Graduate Student Dana Moss, M.A. ’12 of the School of Social Sciences; and Outstanding Student-Athlete Tamir Hershko of The Henry Samueli School of Engineering. John Sommerhauser ’77 of the School of Social Sciences will receive the Outstanding Staff Achievement award.

This year’s Lauds & Laurels celebration of all 18 honorees will be held at [AV] Irvine, a state-of-the-art venue in the Irvine Spectrum area. The “VANTity Fair” theme is a nod to Vanity Fair’s annual post-Oscar soiree. Actor Robert “Bob” Gunton ’68, a prior Distinguished Alumnus honoree, will host the event.

Table sponsorships and individual tickets are on sale now. Net proceeds will support the UCI Alumni Association’s student scholarship fund. For sponsorship opportunities, contact Paul Phootrakul, UCIAA director of business development, at 949-824-4575.

About the UCI Alumni Association: Founded in 1968 to enrich the lives of alumni and engage them in lifelong advancement of UC Irvine, the UCI Alumni Association fosters the success of the university’s more than 160,000 alumni by connecting them to one another and providing a wide range of university resources. With UCI’s ambition of being a globally preeminent university, the UCI Alumni Association strives to empower and support its alumni community through membership programs, chapters, career recruitment opportunities, social gatherings, and alumni engagement programs and events. For more information, visit

About the University of California, Irvine: Currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $4.8 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit

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