Stan Lee Announced as UCLA Extension Certificate Graduation Ceremony Keynote Speaker

Lee, Chairman Emeritus of Marvel Entertainment to receive Icons of L.A. Award at the ceremony as part of a kick-off to the Centennial Celebration for the division of continuing education

UCLA Extension kicks-off its Centennial Celebration at the Certificate Graduation Ceremony on June 30th at Royce Hall, UCLA Campus, as it recognizes over 2,000 graduates completing over 100 professional certificates.

This year, the ceremony honors Stan Lee with the inaugural Icons of L.A. Award. As a producer, comic book writer, editor, actor, publisher, television personality, and the former president and chairman of Marvel Comics, Lee is a legend, known as the godfather of the modern-day superhero.

Lee co-created some of Marvel’s most recognizable characters including Spider-Man™, Iron Man™, The Incredible Hulk™, The Fantastic Four™, X-Men™, The Avengers™, Thor™, Doctor Strange™, Daredevil™, and hundreds more fictional characters, introducing complex, naturalistic characters and a thoroughly shared universe into superhero comic books.

“Mr. Lee is an icon and has always understood the power of transformation in his life and work.  We at UCLA Extension are committed to using the power of education to help people transform their lives and communities so it is most appropriate that he is the first recipient of this award,” said Wayne Smutz, Dean of Continuing Education and UCLA Extension.

“It is a real honor for me to receive this fabulous Icons of LA award,” stated Stan Lee.  “Education is so important to me and the UCLA Extension program provides access for many who otherwise would not have such opportunities.”

All graduates will receive a “Hands of Respect” lapel pin, designed by Stan Lee as part of his Hands of  RESPECT Initiative (, which seeks to build bridges in communications, encourages conversation, and brings together members of the community to inspire respect for one another in dialogue and actions.

Other notable graduation speakers include UCLA Alumni Board President, and President and COO of the Los Angeles Sparks, Christine Simmons,  as well as Executive Officer and UCLA’s first Chief Sustainability Officer, Nurit Katz. Katz is UCLA Extension’s Dean’s Award Recipient for significant teaching and service contributions to UCLA Extension. Both speakers are UCLA Alumnae.

For 100 years (1917-2017), UCLA Extension has been one of the largest and most comprehensive continuing education programs in the United States.  On August 17, 1917, University Extension opened a permanent location in downtown Los Angeles enrolling 1,684 students in 97 classes in its first year. Today, UCLA Extension has over 38,000 students, offering more than 5,000 classes and programs per year.

The UCLA Extension Certificate Graduation Ceremony at Royce Hall on June 30th kicks-off a centennial year celebration of special events, activities and recognitions. The two-year campaign plans to raise $10 million to increase access, inspire transformation, and re-imagine learning.