From the Nominator
Dinners for 12 Strangers is a 50-year UCLA tradition that has become a global phenomenon. Every year, on three special nights, alumni, faculty, and students come together to enjoy good food and great conversation. During the last year, alumni hosted more than 400 dinners around the world, involving more than 3,700 Bruins on Feb. 25, 26, and March 5.
Since its inception in 1968, the Dinners for 12 Strangers programs connects alumni and students across the city of Los Angeles, and (starting in 2010) alumni and students all across the globe. A simple meal is often the center of a community, and this program makes a large university feel smaller and more personal for students and alumni.
From the Judges
UCLA has taken a simple concept of student and alumni dinners and expanded it over the course of 50 years to make it a tradition with a big impact on a large number of alumni and students. The team has really put a lot of thought into the logistics of managing hundreds of students and alumni during a limited window of time. The price per person involved was minimal so that this program could be scaled to fit any institution. There was terrific use of students to help manage the program, as well.