Frank Gehry, Elizabeth Gabler, Dr. John Mazziotta, Dr. Ronald W. Busuttil and Lauren B. Leichtman and Arthur Levine Honored.
The 2019 Golden Visionary Ball, held on October 10, 2019, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, raised more than $1 million to support the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery.
Thanks to generous support from the Lauren B. Leichtman and Arthur E. Levine Family Foundation, Lynda and Stewart Resnick, Wallis Annenberg and the Annenberg Foundation and many others, the evening garnered vital funds to educate the next generation of neurosurgeons and advance innovative research to cure brain cancer, reverse stroke and brain aneurysms, repair spinal cord and brain injuries and improve treatments for an array of life-altering neurological disorders.The gala, co-chaired by Susan Dolgen, Edie Baskin Bronson, Ted Gagliano and Loic Bailly, was hosted by Renee Bargh, weekend co-host and longtime correspondent for Extra.
Dr. Linda M. Liau (RES ’97, FEL ’98, PhD ’99), chair of the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery and W. Eugene Stern Chair in Neurosurgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, welcomed more than 500 guests to the special celebration during UCLA’s centennial year. The UCLA neurosurgery board combined two signature events — the Visionary Ball and the Golden Portal Awards — to create the first Golden Visionary Ball.
The evening honored extraordinary leaders and pioneers and included inspiring stories from courageous patients and family members in a segment known as Points of Light. “Our patients drive us to continue advancing science and medicine. You illuminate our purpose and are at the heart of all we do,” Dr. Liau said.
The program also featured video tributes to each honoree: World-renowned architect Frank Gehry received the Luminary Award; Elizabeth Gabler, president of Sony 3000 Pictures, received the Icon Award; Lauren B. Leichtman and Arthur Levine, founding partners of Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, received the Visionary Award; and Dr. Ronald W. Busuttil (RES ’77), Distinguished Professor and executive chairman of the UCLA Department of Surgery and William P. Longmire, Jr. Chair in Surgery, was honored with the Medical Visionary Award.
Dr. Liau and guest neurosurgeon Dr. J. Patrick Johnson shared a special tribute to Dr. Donald P. Becker, an esteemed professor emeritus who first joined the UCLA community in 1968 and subsequently served as chief of neurosurgery. During his tenure, Dr. Becker developed a comprehensive neurosurgical brain tumor program, leading to what is now known as the UCLA Brain Tumor Center, one of only six brain cancer programs in the nation to be designated as a Specialized Program of Research Excellence, or “SPORE,” by the National Cancer Institute. Thanks to support from committed donors, such as Patty and Peter Neuwirth, Dr. Liau announced that UCLA has raised $1 million to establish an endowed term chair in honor of Dr. Becker.
Angel City Chorale, America’s Got Talent semifinalist known for its signature blend of musical styles and commitment to community, engaged the audience with an interactive performance that prompted a standing ovation. The UCLA Department of Neurosurgery is one of the top neurosurgery programs in the nation, ranked No. 6 nationally by U.S. News & World Report.