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In May 2005, the Regents of the University of California issued their “Statement of Ethical Values,” a “commitment to the core values of the University” (UCOP Statement of Ethical Conduct, 2005) which embodied four guiding principles: Integrity, Excellence, Accountability, Respect.

This statement provided the basis from which the core values for UCLA were developed. The context for using these values was initially proposed as an ethical statement for the UCLA community that could begin with new Bruins as they began their careers at UCLA.

Incoming students therefore became the first target audience through the Dean of Students presentation at Orientation. Historically, this presentation addressed student conduct with regard to academic integrity. In Fall 2005, the Office of the Dean of Students and the UCLA Orientation Program developed the UC Statement of Ethical Values into a statement more specific to UCLA. The result was the following:

UCLA True Bruin

As a Bruin, I commit myself to the highest ethical standards
  • Integrity - I conduct myself with integrity in my dealings with and on behalf of the University.
  • Excellence I conscientiously strive for excellence in my work.
  • Accountability I am accountable as an individual and member of this community for my ethical conduct.
  • Respect I respect the rights and dignity of others.

The 2006 Summer Orientation Dean of Students presentations were entitled “What It Means To Be A Bruin” and the phrase “True Bruin” was developed with student input. It provided incoming students with a sense of connection to the University – the first UCLA tradition – and introduced the framework of expected student conduct for Bruins. Incoming students now understand that the highest standards are expected from True Bruins.

The True Bruin logo was developed in 2007 and permissions were obtained from UCLA Trademarks and Licensing.

In 2009, Chancellor Block added "Service - I will make an impact in our global community through public service." to the community standards. He believed that because UCLA is a public university, service is a key part of its mission and UCLA students should develop a strong service ethic that will continue throughout the rest of their lives.

Also in 2009, the New Student Welcome was restructured and renamed to "True Bruin Welcome Week" to help incorporate the True Bruin values throughout the entire week. The highlight of the week was the True Bruin Service Day, where thousands of Bruins volunteered their time to various communities around Los Angeles.

The True Bruin statement of community standards has been embraced as a campus initiative. The notion of what it means to be a True Bruin is applicable to the entire UCLA community: students, staff, faculty, alumni.