The unexpected passing of VC Powe, a pivotal figure at UCLA Luskin, drew an outpouring of tributes from students, alumni, colleagues and the community. Here are some of their remembrances.


Cards of condolence sent to the Luskin School will be delivered to VC Powe’s family. Please address them to:

VC Powe’s Family
c/o UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
Box 951656
337 Charles E. Young Drive East
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1656

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any gifts in VC’s honor be made to the VC Powe Memorial Fund at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, which will support schoolwide fellowships, Career Services and the Senior Fellows program. Gifts can also be made by check payable to the UCLA Foundation. Please include “Fund #14300” in the memo field and mail to:

The UCLA Foundation
PO Box 7145
Pasadena, CA 91109-9903

‘My favorite mental image of VC Powe will forever be her standing front and center on the Royce Hall stage at the very end of commencement, smiling radiantly, her arms raised to signal the graduates to rise and go take on the world.’ — BILL PARENT, a Luskin School colleague of VC Powe for many years. Read the full obituary

She will be remembered for positively impacting an untold number of people through her warm, vibrant and candid demeanor that brought together students, alumni and faculty in a very special way that embodied the spirit of service.’ — LOS ANGELES COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, adjourning in honor of VC Powe on Sept. 29, 2020  Listen to the tribute

She was more than her titles and official role. She was a special person who cared about students and connecting them to experiences to help them reach their career goals.’  — LOS ANGELES CITY COUNCIL, adjourning in honor of VC Powe on Sept. 29, 2020  Watch the tribute

“VC was a mentor, a colleague and a friend. I feel incredibly lucky to have known her and can’t believe that I won’t have the chance to see her again. VC helped me through some very difficult times in my life. She was always kind, patient, generous with her time and supportive. I hope to be the kind of human that she was! I learned so much from VC, including how to take better care of myself. I am now in a job I love, pursuing a career I am passionate about, and I have VC to thank for that. She believed in me and helped me grow into the person I am today. I will always think of VC when I pass a Le Pain Quotidien where we used to go to breakfast, will hear her advice in my head when I have to prepare for a presentation or an interview or have to make a big decision, and will try to put into practice what she taught me so that I can help to keep her legacy alive. I already miss her. UCLA won’t be the same without her.” — KELSEY JESSUP MPP ’15

“VC was a wonderful colleague and a vital partner with our development team for decades. She was so dedicated to our students and to supporting their growth and success. I am deeply saddened by her passing, but I know her memory and legacy live on in the friends and students she helped along the way.” — LAURA LAVADO PARKER, associate vice chancellor, UCLA Development

“I’m heartbroken for the world. As y’all know so well, VC was the most amazing person — it was obvious from the first moment I met her, back in the ’90s. VC radiated light and love. And every time I wrote her last name, I automatically finished it ‘Power’ because that’s another thing she exuded, in her special way. VC will always be my role model.” JAMA ADAMS, ’97 graduate with a minor in public policy

“VC was a great friend, confidant, coconspirator and advocate. She literally transformed my MPP experience from academic into a real-world network with people who trusted her; when she introduced me to them they trusted me. I can’t tell you how much she has meant to my journey after and during the program. I have so much love for VC and she’s an example of how we can all pay it forward and be a pillar for our communities. She treated me and my family and friends and coworkers with such respect. I’ll miss her laugh and the ease with which she gave 100% to all of us. She worked with me to help me secure a fellowship, to secure and follow up with my senior fellows. She always was promoting us and our businesses and endeavors without question. We were her children and she was so proud of us. She is irreplaceable and will be so missed.” — BRAD ROWE MPP ’13 and public policy lecturer

“I first met VC after graduating from the Urban Planning program many years ago. She made staying part of the Luskin community so warm and welcoming that it was not only second nature to maintain ties with the school, its programs, faculty, staff and students — but to deepen them year by year. She provided a bridge for me and for many, and her passing is a huge loss. She leaves a gaping hole and a legacy that shows care and character are paramount.” — EDITH DE GUZMAN

“What a loss! VC’s quiet power, her incredibly authentic kindness and her grace were very unique assets. Even though she was one of the busiest women around, her interest in listening and deep presence were remarkable.” — GISELLE JONES

“So sorry to receive this news. VC was at the UCLA Alumni Association on my first day of work in California. And she was an invaluable resource throughout my 25 years working on campus. I’m happy I got to connect with her, no matter how briefly, at a recent retirement party. VC was reliably positive, optimistic, patient, and willing to teach and learn.” — MARK DAVIS

“VC changed the lives of generations of students. She played a pivotal role in my career and, more fundamentally, my life. I owe a deep debt of gratitude to the care, sincerity, and unquestioning support that VC gave me and so many others. Whether it was meeting in her office or just passing in the hall, VC was always warm and generous. That consistency speaks volumes about who she was as our mentor, role model and leader. My thoughts are with her family and everyone at Luskin.” — JONATHAN KOSAKA MPP ’20

“VC was a dedicated leader who always wanted the best for the school and the students. I felt welcomed by VC the first day I set foot at Luskin and I’ll never forget her warmth, kindness and eagerness to help. I was shocked when I learned of the sad news of her passing. I’m keeping her and her family in my thoughts in these difficult times.” — HENRY TO MBA/MPP ’11 

“I first worked with VC Powe on setting up the David Bohnett Fellowships in Mayor Villaraigosa’s office in 2007. Three deans ago. Before the Luskin name graced the Public Policy school. She was the hardest working, most competent, most kind, most knowledgeable, most fun administrator I’ve ever known. Because of her I was a Luskin Senior Fellow forever (like 10 times). She also helped Sheila Kuehl when she taught at the Luskin school after she termed out as a state senator. Sheila always says she would have been lost without VC’s calm, wonderful way of guiding. We’re all still reeling and in immediate and profound grief. One of my favorite VC Powe memories is arriving early — like 7:30 am on a Sunday morning — at the Science Center for one of the very first HomeWalks — the annual walk against homelessness that the United Way organizes. Maybe 2009? As I got out of my car in the parking lot, there was VC emerging from the underground walkway, big smile on her face, walking shoes on. Calm and purposeful and kind. As always. We walked together that day and talked nonstop about politics, life and, of course, our shared passion for UCLA (I got my MBA there in ’84 and my Dad was Class of ’41).” — TORIE OSBORN MBA ’84  

“I am so devastated to learn that VC is no longer with us. I worked closely with VC when I was at Luskin and she had such a positive impact on me. There was one day VC and I took a bus across campus to meet with a potential speaker for a panel discussion. There was nothing particularly interesting about that day but this is one of my favorite memories of her! It was a gorgeous summer day, and VC and I got to chat more intimately about things other than Luskin Career Services. I always felt so comfortable with he — she was such a great mentor and friend. VC was literally my biggest cheerleader and made me feel like every accomplishment I made was bigger than it really was. She wrote a recommendation for me to receive an award at graduation and I can’t put in words how much that meant to me — I often felt a little invisible and under-appreciated for the efforts I put in to my work and to the school, but VC made sure that I received recognition. We were also able to appreciate her that day, with a special call-out for her hard work and some flowers.  I moved to Toronto shortly after graduating and it took me a while to find a good job. As soon as I heard good news, VC was the first person I told because I KNEW she would genuinely be so happy for me. VC was the person I was most excited to see when I came back to visit Luskin. I am so sad that I won’t get to see her warm smile and I won’t get one of her warm hugs. Luskin and UCLA will not be the same without her. Love you so much, VC, and thank you for everything you have done for the school and for me.” — NIKITHA GOPAL ‘MPP 19 

“I had a sense that VC was quite a private person, but that never stood in the way of her warmth, enthusiasm, and just plain good cheer in seeing someone and chatting. She was indeed fully committed to the School and its students, always looking for ways to move everything forward and give folks the best possible experience. I can’t imagine the Senior Fellows Program without her, and whenever we talked about career services it reflected her excitement and vision. As you may know, for 23 years I was on the National Advisory Committee for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars in Health Policy Research Program (Sarah, Aaron and Wes were all in that program). Ten years in, RWJF dictated that there had to be a change in the three sites (at the time they were Yale, Michigan and Berkeley). Those three would compete against one another for two slots, and the third slot would be opened up nationally. Yale lost. I led the UCLA application (the School would have been the primary location for the program on campus), which was quite an enterprise. We were among those selected for a site visit. Harvard eventually won the competition, but VC played a big role in helping to organize and host the site visit by the program director and the selection committee. As the visit was wrapping up they all commented on how fabulous VC had been (I got some intimation that they wanted to steal her away…)” — MARK A. PETERSON, professor of public policy, political science and law 

“VC worked so hard to connect students to mentors through alumni connections and Senior Fellows, and she was a mentor herself through her nurturing of these programs and relationships with current and former students. When I was at Dominguez Hills, she connected me with one of her work study undergrads who was contemplating an MSW program. She wanted her student to have a full sense of the programs that were out there in addition to UCLA. I had a great experience with the student who came prepared for our meeting. I’m sure this was due to VC’s mentorship, standards and expectations she set for us. I’ll always remember her warmth that radiated out of that smile and those glimmering eyes of hers. What a loss to us all.” — NICOLE VAZQUEZ MPP/MSW ’09

“VC was synonymous with Luskin and such a champion for all students and alums. She will be missed. Let us know if there is any opportunity for a legacy fund or to support her family.” — SARAH LOCHER MPP ’10

“I received the news of the passing of my colleague and friend VC Powe with great shock and sadness. I met VC at my interview for a position with UCLA Local Government Relations in 1998. Her warm smile, and obvious empathy for the interviewee, gave me a sense of calm in what could have been a stressful situation. I found VC immediately after being hired. I proposed we co-sponsor somewhat radical events and she didn’t flinch. She was always up for the challenge, facing everything with her sense of calm, her wealth of knowledge about UCLA, and her deep connections to campus resources. We did many programs together.She was a great partner. I knew things would always be done right with VC involved. VC kept me engaged in Luskin School affairs even after I retired 13 years ago. We stayed connected despite my move to the East Coast. We enjoyed many lunches at California Pizza Kitchen when I came back to California. She had planned to visit me in Brooklyn. Please give my condolences to her colleagues and her husband, Keith. VC touched so many students and staff. She was so dedicated and so loved. I will miss her. — DIANA BRUEGGEMANN, former executive director, UCLA Local Government and Community Relations

“VC was able to bring together students, alumni, and faculty in a way that embodied the spirit of service – the core reason why all of us chose to pursue the study of public affairs. For many of us, our connection to Luskin is defined by our connection to individuals who helped shape our perception of the world during formative years and VC Powe played that ever important role for many of us.”

JAIME NACK ’98, MPP ’02 and member of the UCLA Alumni Association Board of Directors.

“It took me a few weeks into grad school to realize “VC” was not a “Vice Chancellor” title — it was her name. But after two years of making a drop-in to VC’s office part of my regular routine, my original assessment may as well have been true — VC was THE central figure who made the Luskin School work. From singlehandedly helping dozens of students finance their graduate school experiences to going above and beyond to support student programs, VC was the single most important contact we had as Luskin students. Not a resume went out without her feedback, not a cover letter went unchecked. VC pushed us to be the best we could be in our fellowship and job applications and as students. VC remains the most important factor in my professional journey, and her encyclopedic knowledge of Luskin alumni helped me realize the scope of what an MPP could be. VC was an institution and her office was the single most welcoming place in the entire School of Public Affairs.”


One of the nicest and most decent people I have ever known, and completely dedicated to the welfare of our students.” MICHAEL DUKAKIS, former Massachusetts governor and visiting professor of public policy

“I was so sorry about VC.  She was always so upbeat with a wonderful smile and great enthusiasm for her work with the School.  Please know how saddened Meyer and I feel for such a painful and sudden loss.” — RENEE LUSKIN

“VC was a mentor, a friend and a person whose smile and laughter I looked forward to seeing every day when I stepped on campus. There were many difficult moments when as a grad student I felt alone and stressed. I could always count on VC to offer words of wisdom or lighten the mood. Then, as a Bohnett

‘VC saw the work she did as more than just a job. She was helping shape future leaders.’

fellow, I had the opportunity to travel with her to DC and Detroit, and that’s where I got to know her as a person more than a colleague. VC was an amazing person who saw us as her children and saw the work she did as more than just a job. She was helping shape future leaders and she was right. I cannot tell you how much I’ll miss seeing VC when I step back onto campus or when I attend alumni events. It was only last week that she reached out to me to connect me with a current student and spoke so highly of her that I had to make sure I connected with them because VC’s word was golden. I will miss her so much and I can only pray that she is in a better place waiting to greet all the people whose lives she touched. Please send my sincerest condolences to her family. I hope they know many people loved VC and will keep her spirit and life alive in our hearts and memories. The only thing consoling me right now is the idea that we can all live and be more like VC, and if we accomplish that the impact she has made in this world is boundless. May she rest in peace.” — JACKY GUERRERO

“VC Powe’s involvement with the UCLA community was extensive, but one of her proudest affiliations was with UCLA’s Professional Development Program (PDP), sponsored by Campus Human Resources. PDP is an annual leadership program that has been elevating high-performing staff since 1994 through its skill-building workshops, group capstone project, individual performance coaching and mentorship experience. VC was selected to participate in PDP in 1998 and she generously donated her time, network and counseling expertise to the program for the last 22 years. PDP, and UCLA, has lost a jewel in its crown. Starting in 2010, VC began serving as a mentor for current participants in PDP. In response to the sad news, her first mentee shared, ‘I remember her as an extremely kind, compassionate and a respectable mentor. She gave me valuable and honest feedback and was always available to listen and encouraged me to be my best. She will be dearly missed.’ VC’s most recent mentee shared a heartwarming story: ‘I first had the privilege of hearing VC speak on a panel at the AMG Leadership Conference. When I was accepted into the Professional Development Program, I jumped at the chance to request to be VC’s mentee. Her warmth and kindness made an indelible impression and lasted throughout and beyond her mentorship. Her approach to mentoring was to be gentle, yet firm, in her encouragements, and her passion and skills for professionally developing others are unmatched. She has touched and made an impact on so many people, and she will not be forgotten. I will miss VC dearly.’ VC’s care for professional staff didn’t stop short with her assigned mentees; she was also thoughtful about creating a positive experience for participants of color and looked for ways to offer additional support. After the PDP orientation in August 2020, where VC was in attendance as a supervisor for a current participant, she reached out to the program manager and said, “I noticed one African American female in my breakout group reached out to me separately with an extra hello and nice to meet me. In light of the current BLM environment, if there happen to be any African American participants who expresses interest in having a Black mentor, please know I am here to help.’ These stories are just a few examples of how VC demonstrated servant leadership for the PDP and UCLA community. We will be forever grateful for her ambition, vulnerability and compassion. Although the sparkle of our crown has been dulled, we will cherish the legacy of our rare gem, VC Powe.” MEGAN EIGENBROD, Professional Development Program Manager, UCLA Campus Human Resources, Training & Development

“VC taught me to believe in myself.  As a gay, Latino male from Southeast Los Angeles and working-class parents, VC always made me feel that Luskin was my home, too, and that I belonged.  Her belief in me gave me and will continue to give me the confidence to move forward in positions of leadership throughout my career.  I’ll miss you like a mom, VC.” EVERARDO ALVIZO, BA ’03, MSW ’08, David Bohnett Fellow, 2007-2008
“When I met VC for the first time in 2015, as a first-year MSW student at UCLA Luskin, I felt that I met someone who understood me immediately — a former professional journalist who was on the path of becoming a professional social worker. I was older than most of my classmates and, at the nascent start of a new career, was already interested in pursuing leadership roles in my new chosen field. VC was a rare light, that person who clicks on the same wavelength as you — she understood my passions and goals, and knew exactly what to do with them. Under her guidance, I applied for the Bohnett Fellowship with Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office. More than four years later, I’ve enjoyed a successful career at City Hall, with her blessings and support buoying me along the way. Whether it was over email, on the phone, or over her spectacular brunches that she hosted with her lovely husband, Keith, I got to benefit from her wisdom, guidance, and experience anytime I needed it. VC plainly spoiled me with her love and support. I have no other words to describe how much I’ll miss her, and how she will be missed by those who admired her.” — JAVANTHI DANIEL, executive officer, City Homelessness Initiatives, Los Angeles

I’m very saddened to hear of VC’s passing. She always seemed to remember me when I attended alumni events. My condolences to her family, friends and colleagues. She truly left a legacy with the Luskin School. My experience as a student and alum was made better because of her!” — VAL BAGNOL

“I have known VC for over 20 years. She has always supported me. Her passing is not just a loss for the Luskin School of Public Affairs, it is a deep personal loss for those she worked with and touched. We first met while I was a student in the then Department of Policy Studies, Master of Public Policy (MPP) program, in the then UCLA School of Public Policy. While excited to be back at my undergraduate alma mater, I was initially disappointed at the lack of diversity in our incoming MPP class. Fortunately, I was not alone in those feelings. Led by Michael Stoll, JR DeShazo and Maciek Kołodziejczak, our graduate

‘Whether it was an encouraging word or support behind the scenes, she was always there for us. … She always had the students’ backs.’

advisor, I was brought on board, along with my classmate and friend, Theron Jones, as a diversity outreach coordinator and recruiter. From the get-go, VC was a strong advocate and supporter of our efforts. Whether it was an encouraging word or support behind the scenes, she was always there for us. She always had our back. She always had the students’ backs. Fast forward a few years later when I would come back to the School as an alumnus. As the years went by, alumni events became a bit awkward for me due to the fact that many of my classmates stopped coming. Oftentimes, I would try to sneak in and then out when I did not see anyone from my class. However, VC would not have that! She would see me at a distance, come up to me to see if I was OK, and then introduce me to the current students and more recent alumni. More importantly, she would come by just to see how I was doing in life. It always meant a lot to me. Over the past few years, I have worked for the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). It has become a routine for me to email VC updates about new positions and internships opening up at SCAG. In turn, she would always keep me informed about UCLA networking and alumni events. We kept in contact on a regular basis. She would put me in touch with students and recent alumni interested in careers in government or planning. What stood out to me is how she went above and beyond her job description. During our last exchange, she let me know that she was consoling some students who did not get job offers. That is not her job, but it is the decent and kind thing to do. VC was a caring person first and foremost. Our world is a much sadder place without VC in our lives. Her dedication and compassion is irreplaceable. Her influence will stay with me for the rest of my life. My thoughts and condolences go out to VC’s family. Rest in power, VC!” HIROSHI ISHIKAWA MPP ’00

“VC was vital to me in my time at UCLA Luskin. She not only embodied the Luskin School but the spirit of UCLA. Still remember the first time I met her and admired how intensely driven by the mission of the Luskin school, and UCLA as a whole, she was. She made herself available to folks as students and as alumni, and always had great advice to give. Without her, the Luskin School would not be what it is today. My thoughts go out to her family and the Luskin family. RIP.” — NICK BLAIR MPP ’14

“I am deeply saddened and completely shocked to hear this news.  I left the Alumni Director position, under Carol Traver and Dean Becerra, when the School of Social Welfare merged into the School of Public Policy and I went to direct the program at the law school.  VC was named the Director.  We remained friends for years. She was a dedicated, positive, wonderful women with a beautiful spirit.” — LORI BOYLE

“VC worked in the UCLA Association from 1990-1996 as Director of Professional & Academic Programs with Clubs & Chapters as alumni networks were called at that time. Translate that to mean she worked with over 80 groups, which included hundreds of volunteers whom she trained, encouraged in leadership development, kept informed and coached in their efforts to support the university and foster networking with each other. One thing that still stands out in my mind is the fact that when she left her UCLA Alumni position to assume her new role in Luskin, management of said clubs and chapters rotated to me. What?! That was very daunting! VC Powe felt like much too big an act to try to follow in the vacuum left by her singular dedication. Although she had moved on to Luskin, we remained in touch, compared notes and knew we could call upon each other if needed over the years — and did. Naturally, VC replicated her success at UCLA Alumni in the Luskin shop, but that is a story I will let her Luskin colleagues tell. I will add, however, if there was ever any doubt, VC would not only build on the success she achieved at the James West Alumni Center but also surpass it in the Luskin School of Public Affairs programs, ultimately as their Executive Director of External Programs and Career Services — just look at the legacy which she has left there for us all. I believe my friend would be gratified and honored that we would remember her in this way. — CIA FORD, Senior Director, Professional School and Affinity Programs at UCLA Alumni Affairs 

“I was so very sorry to hear the news about VC. She was such a good and kind person with such skill in all that she did. She was a very special former colleague and person with whom I so enjoyed working. While I never had the honor of seeing her on a regular basis, she certainly had an impact and I was so very sorry to hear this news. She will be missed. Blessings to her family.” — PAMELA DAVIS BSW, MSW, LCSW

“VC was a wonderful part of my MPP experience. She was kind, supportive and caring. She had so much helpful knowledge and background at the school and was gracious and generous with her time. I’m so sorry to hear of her unexpected and untimely passing. What a loss for our community. I will always remember her warm smile and laughter. Please send my sincere condolences to her loved ones.” — CARA VALLIER MPP ’02

“So grateful for VC. Even before I stepped foot on campus, VC prepped me for a high-level informational interview that I had landed with someone at LA Metro. I felt her strong support for the well-being of our careers as Luskin students/alumni well beyond our actual time on campus. VC will be missed!” ALFONSO DIRECTO JR. MURP ’18

“It is so hard to imagine our Luskin School without VC! She was the nicest, kindest person, and utterly committed to our school and its alums. She did her work with tremendous professionalism and grace, and always with a smile on her face. Programs that have become a big part of our school’s success and appeal, such as the Senior Fellows program or the Luskin City Hall Day, were organized and run by VC. She has helped so many students get started in their careers, so many alums stay connected to our school! And I will always remember VC, hidden from the large crowds, but steadily guiding us towards one more commencement, completely orchestrated to perfection by her. VC will always stay alive in our memories.” — ANASTASIA LOUKAITOU-SIDERIS, distinguished professor of urban planning and associate dean of the Luskin School 

“VC was a friend, colleague and partner of mine for over 25 years. She was someone that always offered a smile, extended a helping hand and took a moment to let you know that she cared about you. I always told her VC stood for “Very Caring.” I met her in the ’90s when she was in the Alumni Association working on increasing the engagement of African American alums. She developed a number of successful outreach programs that brought alums back to UCLA as engaged, supportive alumni. She worked on the initial Summer Youth Employment Program that brought low-income high school students to UCLA for not only employment experiences, but also exposure to benefits of higher education. VC served as mentor in the campus Professional Development Program that provided staff with support and guidance for upward mobility. When VC moved to the Luskin School, she was a public face that carried the mission of the School everywhere she went. Whether taking the deans to community events and meetings, planning programs that enhanced the student experience, or just sitting down giving her time to others; VC was an exemplary advocate for the Luskin School and higher education. She was Government & Community Relations’ principal partner in the annual SPA Day in City Hall, where Luskin graduate students spent a day at Los Angeles City Hall meeting with the mayor, City Council members and city department heads. The meetings focused on an important issue facing the city. Subsequently, the students would produce a white paper with well-researched recommendations. The SPA Day programs could not have happened without VC. VC cared about her students, not just at UCLA, but also the students she taught at Los Angeles City College for many years. She was committed to her family, to her students, to her community. She loved the Luskin School and UCLA and all of us loved her, too.” — KEITH PARKER, former Associate Vice Chancellor of Government and Community Relations

“When I first came back to UCLA in 2015, one of the first people who took me under her wing was VC. Her engaging smile, understated demeanor, intense commitment to our students, infectious smile, soothing voice and total embrace of me let me know that I was back home. We worked together on finding internships for our graduate students. We’d collaborate — more like conspire — to get public agencies to open their hearts and doors to new generations of public servants. As a public official, I came to know VC as UCLA Luskin’s emissary. She came to meetings in my office, asked for advice on how to place more students in jobs, and proselytized me on the great work being done at Luskin. She was preaching to the converted. Getting to know VC as a colleague showed me another side of her. She was an eternal optimist, and her positive approach to life was infectious. I could never say ‘no’ to her. Life in these last six crazy months has been treacherous enough. Now this — the sudden loss of a true Bruin who bled pure powder blue. Too often we don’t realize how much someone has meant to us and to our institution until she is gone. In VC’s case, we all knew we had a winner, a champion of our school and its mission. Her loss is profound, and the void she leaves will be impossible to fill.” — ZEV YAROSLAVSKY, director of the Los Angeles Initiative at UCLA Luskin

I was so heartbroken to hear about VC’s passing. I still remember the day when I walked into her office unannounced, just a few days before commencement, and asked her for career advice. It was a brief meeting, but her wise words and soothing demeanor provided me so much clarity and confidence. She touched so many people’s lives, and I wish more students had the chance to meet her. I cannot imagine a Luskin event without VC, but her legacy will live on! — MEGHMIK “MEG” BABAKHANIAN MURP ’16


View images from VC Powe’s decades at UCLA on Flickr.


“I am heartbroken by the sudden loss of VC Powe. UCLA Luskin has indeed lost a staunch advocate for both women and women of color in particular. … I pray current Black students now have someone to look up to in the world of policy at our prestigious institution. The responsibility is really that of the institution. I hope today’s inauguration will inspire the leadership of our university. VC was my rock when I was in the graduate program in public policy from 2002 to 2006. She will be sorely missed.” — JENNIFER WHITE MPP ’06, 2008 Public Policy Alumna of the Year

“VC may not be with us any more, but her legacy will live in each and every one of us who were blessed by her kind, graceful and dedicated soul. I can only dream of one day being able to live up to the life and success she imagined for me and my fellow Luskin sisters and brothers. VC, we are forever indebted to you. May your soul rest in peace and power.” — PARSHAN KHOSRAVI

“She was a wonderful person and had an impact on many people’s lives. She will be missed.” — LILA BURGOS

“In life, there are those rare individuals who touch your life in such a profound way that they change the trajectory of your path forward. For me, that person was VC. And from the comments that are left by so many, it is clear that VC changed the lives of many students and alumni. As a MSW student, I thought my career path was pretty clear and straightforward. However, through the Senior Fellows Program and a number of different opportunities that VC asked me to consider, I transitioned into the realm of public policy, government and economic development. She challenged me to see beyond what was in front of me, and guided and mentored me along the way. Her mentorship led to partnerships on programs after I graduated from the school, and eventually led to a lasting friendship. She offered her assistance to anyone, and was generous with her time and her support. I will forever be grateful to VC for changing my life. The last I saw her was at the Luskin Board meeting. We usually take time to catch up and chat about what’s going on in our lives. But we were both busy that day, and I thought to myself, I’ll catch up with her the next time I see her. I regret not getting the chance to catch up with her, and not getting the opportunity to tell her how important she was to me. I was heartbroken when I heard of her passing last week, and it took some time for me to be able to process this tremendous loss to our community. VC, thank you for your kindness and empathy. You will be missed dearly, and you will never be forgotten. Rest In Peace, my friend.” — STEPHEN CHEUNG, president of the World Trade Center Los Angeles and chief operating officer at Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation

“I’m so heartbroken to read this news. VC was a special woman who I had the pleasure of interacting with as a student and professional. I first met her because she actually sat in a small leadership class at Luskin — she acted like a real student, so humble and eager, we were so lucky. I will miss her hugs and warm smile, she was one of the most kind and genuine people that I knew.” — JASMINE SHEM

“VC was successful in so many ways and so caring. As an alum of UCLA School of Social Welfare, she brought many of us into the fold of Luskin. Always friendly and caring to me as I’m sure she was with all the students. VC, we miss you so much! Rest in Power!” — LARA LARRAMENDI

“Thank you for this profound and comprehensive tribute to an amazing person and colleague. VC will always be remembered and missed.” — KATE O’NEAL

“I’m heartbroken. VC helped create the culture of the school from the beginning, when it was the newly created SPPSR and we were driving the car while building it. Never was there a more talented, more dedicated, more uplifting, more supportive colleague. Her thoughtfulness, her sense of humor and her ability to focus on what was important were attributes we quickly came to rely on. Her legacy is enormous, and will live on in generations of students dedicated to the public good.” — JIM TRANQUADA

“So hard to imagine UCLA without this lovely and caring friend and colleague.” — JIM NEWTON, editor of UCLA’s Blueprint magazine

“VC was a rock during my time at UCLA and for the past 30 years I was happy to stay engaged with her. Such a loss.” — ERIC SHAW

“Such a huge loss. VC was an amazing connector and supporter of students, colleagues and civic partners all trying to make the world a better place. And she did.” — COLLEEN CALLAHAN, deputy director, Luskin Center for Innovation

“Deeply saddened by VC’s passing. Just last week she and I spoke about an upcoming initiative, and her enthusiasm was, as always, evident. I’m grateful for the memories of VC over the past 13 years. I know that her legacy will continue and I am so proud to call her a mentor+friend.” — JONATHAN BEUTLER

“Very sad news. VC was very kind to me during my nine years on the Luskin faculty. She played a key institutional role at the school. She was an optimist and made the institution stronger.” — MATTHEW E. KAHN

“I spent yesterday processing this loss, reflecting on and appreciating everything VC gave to me and so many others. She was an incredible friend, mentor, supporter and collaborator. Rest in peace, VC, knowing that so many are carrying your gifts forward.” — DAN CAROSELLI

“VC was a central figure of the public policy school at @UCLA and the kind of colleague many staff aspire to be — collaborative, kind and focused on empowering others to succeed. My condolences to the @UCLALuskin and Bruin family.” — @ANDRESLA

“VC was such a warm presence in Luskin and connected with so many of the students and leaders outside of the school on our behalf. My deepest condolences. I can’t begin to say how sad I am to read this.” — SHARON SAND

“VC helped me attend the School of Public Affairs Day @ City Hall more than 10 years ago. This experience marked me, and I have been back to work at City Hall many times over many issues, always remembering that first time I visited with VC. She was golden! We had even talked about putting a water symposium together … time really does run out. My heart goes out to her family. I hope they know we all mourn their loss.” — LENEYDE CHAVEZ

“This is truly heartbreaking. VC was one of my favorite people at SPA/Luskin. She was so enthusiastic about the work and about student success. She had an impact on so many people. Such a sad loss. Forever grateful for VC.” — DAVID HOWARD 

“VC was a significant part of my UCLA experience, from my freshman year as a Ralph Bunche Scholar (she supported the Scholars via her position at the UCLA Alumni Association) and of course through my experience at UCLA GSAUP (pre-Luskin days) and as an alum. I am so saddened by this news. RIP VC — you have touched many Bruin students’ lives and will be sorely missed.” — VERA DE VERA

“I’m heartbroken to hear this news! VC was so dedicated to Luskin’s students and was so kind to me during and after my graduation. What impossible shoes to fill… My condolences to her family and to our community.” — AARON ORDOWER 

“What a sad loss. VC was such a great connector for everyone at Luskin. Whatever interested you interested her, and she always wanted to find others to share that interest.” — GREG MAUL

“My heart is hurting today. My years at Luskin would not have been the same without VC. My thoughts are with all those who love her and were impacted by her.” — LISA EVANS POWELL

“A wonderful soul — wasn’t a true Luskin event without VC. Sending love to her family.” — LANCE MACNIVEN 

“I am so sorry to hear this. VC was a great advocate for the school and supported so many students like myself with career advice, mentorship and connections to leaders in public affairs. Sending love to her family.” KATIE CETTIE STEINBERG

“VC was such a light, recognized the light in students that made them special and fought in their best interest. I am so sorry to learn of her passing and send my deepest condolences to her family. Rest in Power, VC.” — MELTEDXHEESE

“So sad to hear this. She was always so warm and supportive of students. Just a wonderful person.” — TAHMED87

“Very sad to hear this news. We were just in communication about the senior fellows program. I am in shock and saddened by this news. Rest in Power, VC. Sending love to the Powe family.” — TRPL_BRUIN