D’Artagnan Scorza

Civic leader, social justice advocate and UCLA alumnus D’Artagnan Scorza will deliver the keynote address at the UCLA College’s virtual commencement celebration on Friday, June 11. The program, which begins at 6 p.m. PDT, will also feature remarks by Chancellor Gene Block, Nobel laureate Andrea Ghez, class of 2021 student speakers and others.

A decorated U.S. Navy veteran, Scorza is the inaugural executive director of racial equity for Los Angeles County and president of the UCLA Alumni Association. He is also a lecturer at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.

“D’Artagnan Scorza has given back to his fellow Bruins and his fellow Americans in myriad ways since his graduation,” said David Schaberg, senior dean of the UCLA College and dean of humanities. “His incredible life experiences and dedication to social change make him the ideal person to inspire our graduating seniors to aim high and make a difference in the world.”

In 2008, Scorza founded the nonprofit Social Justice Learning Institute and as its executive director over the next 12 years led efforts to open up academic and career opportunities to Black and Latino youth while establishing community gardens, a farmers’ market and healthy lifestyle centers in his hometown of Inglewood, California. His research, policy initiatives and grassroots organizing have had a significant impact on high-need communities throughout California.

“This year’s graduating class deserves so much credit for their achievement and resilience in the face of the pandemic,” Scorza said. “It’s an incredible honor to have been asked to give the commencement address to this remarkable group of Bruins.”

While studying as an undergraduate UCLA, Scorza enlisted in the Navy following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and served for four-and-a-half years, including a deployment to Iraq. He later returned to UCLA, where he completed his bachelor’s degree in the study of religion in 2007 and earned his doctorate in education in 2013. As a UC student regent from 2007 to 2009, he helped pass policies that established veterans’ service centers and prioritized $160 million for student services across UC campuses.

Scorza also served as president of the Inglewood Unified School District Board of Education and chaired a campaign to secure $350 million in school improvement bonds for the district’s schools.

Scorza was invited to be the 2021 commencement speaker after being selected from among wide field of candidates by UCLA’s Commencement Committee, which comprises students, faculty members and administrators.

Along with his UCLA degrees, Scorza holds a bachelor’s in liberal studies from National University in San Diego.

How is the Distinguished Alumni Speaker selected?

A committee, comprised of representatives from the College Faculty Executive Committee – including professors and students, reviews a list of notable alumni and provides the College with several recommendations. Speakers are then invited and scheduled according to their availability.


Rachel DuRose

Rachel DuRose

Rachel DuRose

Michelle Garabetian

Rachel DuRose is a Political Science and Public Affairs student, who grew up in Orlando, Florida. While Rachel was originally drawn to UCLA because of her work as an actress and the school’s proximity to the film industry, she soon fell in love with the community she made and the mentorships she gained on campus.

Over the last four years Rachel has been involved with multiple student organizations, including Model United Nations at UCLA and UCLA’s student newspaper, the Daily Bruin. Rachel has traveled across the country and abroad competing in speech and debate competitions on international politics with Model United Nations. She has served as a leader in the organization for three years and has had the privilege of organizing conferences and training her team members. Rachel has translated her debate skills into her work as an Opinion columnist with the Daily Bruin. As an Opinion columnist, Rachel sought to highlight the stories of students and communities at UCLA who deserved to be heard, such as first-generation, low income, international, parenting students, and more. Rachel will be continuing her journalism career post-graduation at Insider as a Careers fellow, writing for the digital newsroom’s Strategy Desk.

Michelle Garabetian is from La Crescenta, California, and she will graduate from UCLA with a Bachelor’s in Political Science. A daughter of immigrants and a first generation Armenian-American, Michelle transferred to UCLA from Glendale Community College in 2019. She began her tenure at UCLA as a member, and soon enough student leader, of the Regents Scholar Society and the Alumni Scholars Club. Within a few months, she became a famous face in the Bruin transfer community. She obtained leadership roles in the Pre-Law Transfer Society and the Undergraduate Students Association Council.

Michelle’s involvements extend beyond UCLA. She interns for the UN Women LA Chapter and her passion for social justice has been a catalyst for her drive to attend law school this fall and focus on issues of gender equality and human rights. She is honored to be a student speaker and is forever grateful for the experiences and friendships she has created at UCLA!

2021 UCLA Chancellor’s Service Award Recipient
UCLA Regents Scholar
UCLA Gold Shield Scholar
Dean’s Honors List

Isobel Tweedt

Isobel Tweedt

Natalie Dungey

Natalie Dungey

Isobel Tweedt is from Tustin, California, and is graduating from the UCLA Honors College with a degree in Psychobiology. She enjoys UCLA’s diverse campus, endless opportunities, and the B-Plate yogurt bar.

Outside the classroom Isobel volunteers as the Culture Manager for UCLA’s Sustainable Los Angeles Mammals Laboratory. As a pre-med student she served as a nursing volunteer at Ronald Reagan Medical Center, worked as a home health aide, and is currently a medical scribe. In addition to her interest in medicine Isobel is an enthusiast of the space program and volunteers as a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador providing educational events in schools, libraries, and hospitals nationwide.

After graduation Isobel is looking forward to backpacking on the Pacific Crest Trail. In the fall she will be attending Western University College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific and plans to study emergency and space medicine.

2021 UCLA Chancellor’s Service Award Recipient
UCLA College Honors

Natalie Dungey came to international attention through her stunning performance of the Arutunian Trumpet Concerto at the National Trumpet Competition when she was 10. Since then, she has been a featured soloist on NPR’s From the Top (show #202), has premiered works for trumpet and orchestra, and has been the featured soloist with orchestras and bands around the country, Japan, and Australia.

Natalie was drawn to UCLA by world-renowned Professor Jens Lindemann, so she could learn from the best while also pursuing her passion for psychology. During her time at UCLA Natalie was one of the winners of the All-Star competition, where she and other winners were soloists with the UCLA Philharmonia. She also traveled to South Korea to perform with the graduate student quintet during her junior year.

Natalie will graduate this year with a B.A. in Psychology and B.M. in Music, and she is super excited to be a part of the commencement celebrations.