Scholarship offers transformative support to UCSC military veteran students

The UCSC Retirees Association’s Bruce Lane Memorial Scholarship supports veteran students

Donovan Baker (Stevenson ’23, neuroscience)
Austin Kirby (Oakes ’23, cognitive science)

Donovan Baker (Stevenson ’23, neuroscience) served as an aviation logistics specialist in the Marine Corps for four years. Now in his third year as a cognitive science major at UC Santa Cruz, Baker is excited to pursue neuroscience and attend medical school in the near future. The Bruce Lane Memorial Scholarship—given to military veteran students at UCSC—helped Baker pay for summer courses, ensuring his graduation from UCSC this spring. 

“With the way that the GI Bill works, summer classes and housing usually aren’t paid for,” Baker says. “So when I take classes during the summer, I usually pay out of pocket, so I used the scholarship money to take molecular biology. That way I could ensure that I’d be able to graduate this year.” 

The Bruce Lane Memorial Scholarship for military veteran students—funded by the UCSC Retirees Association—was established in memory of Bruce Lane, who worked at UC Santa Cruz for 27 years as a project architect, educational facilities planner, and director of capital planning. 

Lane served in Europe as a noncommissioned officer and commissioned engineer officer in the Army Reserves for 35 years. He was a recipient of the World War II GI Bill, and after working at UCSC for almost three decades, he became passionate about supporting UCSC military veteran students. The driving force behind the scholarship is Maxine Lane, who has carried on her husband’s wishes following his passing in 2008. 

“These people all volunteer. They risk losing their lives or becoming wounded or becoming affected psychologically,” Maxine said in a 2018 interview. “I know Bruce would be so happy about what we’re doing for the veterans.”

UCSC student and Bruce Lane Memorial Scholarship recipient Austin Kirby (Oakes ’23, cognitive science) shares similar interests to Baker. A former Marine Corps administrative specialist, Kirby studies cognitive science and is fascinated by the brain’s possibilities. Kirby says the Bruce Lane Memorial Scholarship supports him financially during his time at UC Santa Cruz.

“I would have had to have a part-time job without scholarships and grants,” Kirby says. “Without having that extra burden of working while going to school, I’ve been able to volunteer and gain experience in research labs, which is close to my hopeful future career. The scholarship has given me time, which I definitely appreciate.”

Kirby transferred to UCSC from South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia, WA, where he received his associates in pre-nursing. He says he is proud to be a Banana Slug. 

“I love the campus, and I love the people,” Kirby said. It’s a unique place, and everybody’s okay with whoever you are. It’s a come-as-you-are type of place, and I really appreciate that. I think it’s a unique place to be and get a degree at. I love UC Santa Cruz.” 

To help support the Bruce Lane Memorial Scholarship for military veteran students, visit UCSC’s Giving page, or email