Alumnus Morton La Kretz awarded the UCLA Medal

Friends and Supporters

UCLA alumnus and environmental champion Morton La Kretz was awarded the UCLA Medal, the campus’s highest honor, Oct. 24 at the Chancellor’s residence.

“Morton’s leadership and philanthropy are testaments to his belief that the true measure of a life is not what you get, but what you give,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block at the medal ceremony. “The seeds he has planted for the future will indeed benefit generations to come.”

La Kretz recently donated $15 million, following a $5 million donation he made in 2017, to fund the renovation of the UCLA botany building, which was renamed the La Kretz Botany Building. The renovation, which is underway and scheduled for completion in 2022, will include a refurbished entrance and lobby, upgraded laboratories for teaching and research on botany and conservation, and a state-of-the-science class laboratory.

Prior to the medal ceremony, UCLA held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the botany building. There, Victoria Sork, UCLA’s dean of life sciences, praised La Kretz for his profound commitment to “plants, nature and the environment,” and to reminding others of their importance. Sork also expressed her appreciation for his commitment to teaching and research.

Read more on UCLA Newsroom.
Read Chancellor Block’s speech.

Chancellor Gene Block, Morton La Kretz’s daughter Linda Duttenhaver, Morton La Kretz,Morton La Kretz’s daughter Margaret Blume and Dean Victoria Sork.