UCLA Institute of the Environment Inaugural Gala

Owen Wilson, Quincy Jones, Devon Aoki Among A-Listers at Spectacular Pritzker Home for UCLA Institute of the Environment Inaugural Gala 



If one has as an objective preserving the world’s natural beauty, then there could be no better place for the green crowd’s “Evening of Environmental Excellence” than Jeanne and Tony Pritzker’s magnificent new home in Beverly Hills. 

Built by architect Ed Tuttle, best-known for designing elegantly luxurious Aman Resorts, the home offers panoramic views of Los Angeles with spacious entertaining areas open to the outside air. One glance in any direction at the magnificent skyline and guests needed no convincing of the importance of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and its goals: that of generating knowledge and solving regional and global environmental problems.

“The need for a world-class environmental school is so obvious in Los Angeles,” said Tony Pritzker, chairman of the IoES board, managing partner of the Pritzker Group and a Hyatt Hotel heir. “At UCLA we have a school of public policy, a school of law, a business school, a medical school, an engineering school, and earth sciences, but we don’t have one focused on the environment, which is something we naturally should have.”

Co-chairs Pritzker and IoES board member Tina Quinn were joined at the Mar. 16 affair by former governor Gray Davis, actors Owen Wilson of “Midnight in Paris” and Jared Leto of “Requiem for a Dream,” music legend Quincy Jones, model Devon Aoki, singer/songwriter Lana Del Rey, producer Lawrence Bender and more VIPs to honor real estate investor Dan A. Emmett and Southern California Edison. 

Emmett has been an advisor to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Green Building Initiative” and chair of the Real Estate Leadership Council of the State’s Green Action Team. SCE was chosen for its leadership in key environmental initiatives and green innovation.

Having produced Al Gore’s documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth” – in addition to “Pulp Fiction,” “Kill Bill,” “inglorious Basterds,” and other blockbusters – board member Lawrence Bender said that making the documentary increased his interest in environmental issues. 

“That’s why I’m a big part of this,” Bender said.  “This is one of the biggest issues we face in our lifetime.”

Jerry Penacoli of “Extra” acted as emcee with Vicci Martinez – a singer/songwriter and contender on “The Voice” – to entertain. Chancellor Gene Block and UCLA Law School Dean Rachel Moran presented the awards.  Also on hand was Glen MacDonald, director of the UCLA Institute for the Environment and Sustainability.


Top Photo: Tony Pritzker and Jeanne Pritzker at the UCLA Institute of the Environment Inaugural Gala  

Center Photo: Producer Lawrence Bender with Owen Wilson of “Midnight in Paris” at the UCLA Institute of the Environment Inaugural Gala  

Bottom Photo: UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, left, with honoree Dan Emmett and dean Rachel Moran at the UCLA Institute of the Environment Inaugural Gala 

All photos by Vince Bucci 



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The UCLA Institute of the Environment Inaugural Gala 

Published Mar. 18, 2012  – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA