Welcoming 2024 with the Milken Scholars Holiday Dinners

Published 01/12/2024 in Program Updates
Written by Reyes, Natalie | 01/12/2024

After a year full of milestones for the Program, there was a lot to celebrate at the recent annual Holiday Dinners in Los Angeles, New York, and D.C.

In Los Angeles, Mike and Lori Milken hosted Scholars for an evening filled with hugs, laughs, and moments of reflection. In an unexpected, but pleasant turn of events, attendees were invited to share fun facts about their peers, and guests learned about each other’s life passions, pets’ names, and even favorite ice cream flavors!  In NY Scholars were asked by Director Emeritus, Mariano Guzmán, to reflect on their lives and the world around them as 2023 came to an end while in DC guests were quizzed by Mike Milken on medical innovation and the development of treatments for life-threatening diseases.  At each Dinner, Directors Dr. Jane Foley and Evelyn Torres shared remarks about the Program’s 34-year history, and how the traditional campus visits, Alumni Symposium, and annual Summit strengthened the Scholars community over the course of the year.

In 2023, the Program welcomed 20 new Scholars! With their first semester under their belts, many of the freshmen eagerly reunited at the Holiday Dinner in their home cities. Current Scholars used this occasion to catch up on their lives on campus, connect with Program Alumni and share resources for their 2024 internship search. Alumni reminisced about their memories as young Scholars, discussed plans for their futures, and reconnected with one another and several of the Friends of the Milken Scholars Program.

Friends of the Milken Scholars Program share the Program’s mission to foster lifelong leaders and throughout the years, have supported Scholars to reach their full potential. Previous Summit Speakers, Michael Frondelli, Producer for Autism Speaks, Demontae Thompson, CEO of Twinspire, and Yosef Jalil, California Director of CORE, joined the Program for the LA Holiday Dinner. Ralph Finerman in L.A. and Dr. Ed Greene in NY, long-time members of the Scholars Program, joined the festivities. In D.C., Mike Milken was joined by Curtis Chin, Chair of the Milken Institute’s operations in Asia, Rachel Goslins, President of MCAAD, Dr. Mike Piwowar, Executive Director at the Milken Institute and Emanuel J. Friedman, co-founder of EJF Capital LLC, who along with Simone Friendman at EJF Philanthropies, fund Scholar activities in D.C.  Just to name a few, but Scholars were surrounded by the love of longtime Friends who are always eager to celebrate with them.  The support of friends and partners of the Program is crucial to forming the unique system of support that for years, has helped Scholars succeed and work towards building a better world.

Thanks to everyone who attended the Holiday Dinners, the Program culminated 2023 with a lot of joy, and launched 2024 with a strong sense of hope for the future.

To view more photos of the events, click here