Stanley A. Dashew received the UCLA Medal, the university's highest honor, during a ceremony at UCLA's Tom Bradley International Hall on Thursday, Nov. 30. Dashew is founder of the Rita and Stanley A. Dashew International Student Center at Bradley International Hall, which has provided a wide array of services to thousands of UCLA students from around the world.
"Your vision for the future of internationalism, and your role as a mentor, philanthropist and friend, give you a special place in the UCLA family," said Chancellor Albert Carnesale as he presented Dashew the medal. "You are a leader in enriching the UCLA experience for students from every corner of the globe. As an ardent advocate for educational opportunities to enhance the lives of all students, you have given this important cause a clear and eloquent voice. Our campus community will benefit from your forward-thinking beliefs and tireless service for generations to come."
Dashew dedicated the medal to the student volunteers, the community volunteers and the Board of Directors at the center. "I want you to know that your energy and resources make possible the many programs at the center," he told the audience upon accepting the medal. "These programs result in the exchange of cultural, technical and business know-how. This know-how contributes to world trade, understanding and peace."
Dashew has pursued an exceptional career as an inventor, industrialist, entrepreneur, philanthropist, sailor and champion of world peace. Born in New York City to Russian and Lithuanian parents, Dashew loved writing and began his career writing magazine articles, but then moved into marketing and sales.
He moved to Michigan and established a successful business machines sales agency. In 1949, his love of the sea and new opportunities in the burgeoning West led him to outfit a 76-foot schooner and set sail with his family. They sailed from the Great Lakes, down the East Coast, through the West Indies, and across the Panama Canal, finally arriving 15 months later in Los Angeles, where he and his family settled and have remained for more than five decades.
Dashew used his creative skills and extraordinary business acumen to found Dashew Business Machines, a Los Angeles company that developed seminal innovations in embossing technologies. Over the years the company produced a variety of machines that embossed identification tags for the military and other industrial uses. The company produced evolutionary imprinters, which, when combined with the unique embossing machines, formed the foundation for today's credit card industry. Dashew's work with Bank of America led to the creation of the BankAmericard, the first bank credit card system. Other banks and credit card clubs quickly followed suit.
Continuing his pursuit of industrial innovation, Dashew was responsible for the worldwide introduction of single-point mooring systems for offshore oil production, developed through the IMODCO Company. Dashew is credited with the worldwide patents for the "Dashaveyor," a people-mover system, and the "Omnithruster," a revolutionary bow-thruster system that facilitates maneuvering for shipping and military vessels.
More than 35 years ago, Dashew with the support of his wife, Rita, who passed away five years ago, developed the belief that strengthening international ties and promoting peace among nations begins with cross-cultural understanding between people. Stanley and Rita Dashew initiated and conceived the plan to build UCLA's renowned International Student Center that bears their name. Dashew wanted a special venue that fostered a dynamic, welcoming atmosphere for students of disparate nationalities.
Since its inception, the Rita and Stanley Dashew International Student Center has helped engender close relationships among the thousands of UCLA students — American and foreign — who have used its important services. Many of these students, from more than 110 countries, have become political, business, educational and artistic leaders in their respective nations.
Dashew has worked tirelessly since the inception of the International Student Center, located on the UCLA campus, to build a prestigious venue in which the mission of the center can flourish and grow. His valued global perspectives, leadership and generous resources have continued to benefit the center.