UCLA honors Ronald Katz with Fiat Lux Award

Civic EngagementFriends and Supporters

UCLA alumnus Ronald A. Katz, an inventor and entrepreneur who for more than 50 years has helped to advance UCLA’s mission through his wide-ranging philanthropic giving and volunteer service, was honored Sept. 27 with the Fiat Lux Award, which recognizes distinguished or extraordinary service to the university.

Katz, the driving force behind the founding of Operation Mend at UCLA, received the award from UCLA Chancellor Gene Block during a private dinner at the chancellor’s residence.

“We thank Ron Katz, his late wife, Maddie, and their family for their visionary leadership, advocacy and generosity, not only to military medicine, including Operation Mend, but across the UCLA campus,” Block said.

Ron and Madelyn “Maddie” Katz met at UCLA when they were both undergraduates in the 1950s. In 2006, the couple saw a dramatic news report about the serious injuries sustained by U.S. military service members in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Maddie suggested she and Ron do something to help.

The couple soon made a lead gift to UCLA, planting the seeds for Operation Mend. Ron Katz brought the Department of Veterans Affairs, Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas and other stakeholders together with Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center to launch the program, which provides free medical, surgical and psychological treatment to post-9/11 veterans and service members injured in the line of duty. To date, Operation Mend has been funded by more than 5,000 donors who have contributed approximately $75 million.

“Quite simply, the generosity of Ron Katz through the creation of Operation Mend has made an indelible mark on UCLA Health and forever changed it for the better,” said Dr. John Mazziotta, vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences and CEO of UCLA Health.

Read more on UCLA Newsroom here.