Law school graduates receive UCLA Alumni Awards for service and dedication

May 28, 2024
Donna Cox Wells (left) and Chase Griffin. Photo credit: Trever Ducote/UCLA
Donna Cox Wells (left) and Chase Griffin. Photo credit: Trever Ducote/UCLA

Two distinguished members of the UCLA School of Law community – Donna Cox Wells ’92 and Chase Griffin M.L.S. ’24 – are among the distinguished graduates who were honored with UCLA Awards by the UCLA Alumni Association for their extraordinary achievements, leadership and contributions to the university, their communities and the world.

The association presents the awards each year to alumni who have stood apart for their contributions and accomplishments. “Since 1946, UCLA has paid tribute to its most distinguished luminaries who have lit the way for UCLA’s brightest stars to shine. From larger-than-life legends to community heroes, UCLA Awards are bestowed upon Bruins who have brought great honor to the university and whose contributions impact the world.”

This year’s honorees include seven graduates of the university. Both Wells and Griffin are Triple Bruins.

In addition to her law degree, Wells earned a B.A. in 1966 and an M.A. in Spanish literature in 1969. She received the 2024 Public Service Award for her commitment to UCLA – including decades of volunteer work in an array of settings – and her work as “an attorney with the Los Angeles County Chicano Employees Association (LACCEA), a nonprofit that provides legal representation for public employees and advocates for issues that benefit Latinos and other communities.”

Wells worked in TV production and as a translator for the C.I.A. before she returned to earn her J.D. at UCLA Law at age 43. The alumni association says, “Donna Wells has made an immeasurable positive impact at UCLA and for Latino workers through her generosity, kindness and advocacy.”

A quarterback for the UCLA Bruins football team, Griffin earned his B.A. in 2021 and M.Ed. in 2023. This May, he earned a master of legal studies degree. Griffin has earned the 2024 Young Alumnus of the Year award “for his leadership and philanthropic commitment.” He is nationally renowned “in the area of Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) licensing” and “has expanded his NIL expertise to advocate for athletes, testifying before Congress on NIL legislation to give student-athletes power over their personal brand.”

Recently, Griffin was also included in the 2024 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Awards class from Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, which honors “students of color who have excelled in the classroom as well as on the athletic field.”

In bestowing the UCLA Alumni Award, the alumni association applauds Griffin for striving “to uphold UCLA’s legacy of athletic success as a role model for future generations.”

Donna Wells told her story in an Instagram reel for UCLA Law earlier this year. Watch it here.

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