La Jolla News Nuggets: Netflix to screen ‘Diana’; Princess Street trail plans; UCSD donations; more

Jeanna de Waal plays the princess in "Diana."
(Little Fang)

Netflix to screen La Jolla Playhouse’s ‘Diana’

Hot on the heels of Disney+ screening the musical “Hamilton,” Netflix is following suit with a production that got its start at the La Jolla Playhouse: “Diana: A True Musical Story.” The show, which premiered a year and a half ago, will be filmed for Netflix and will air nationwide in early 2021.

The production, directed by La Jolla Playhouse artistic director Christopher Ashley, will be filmed without an audience on the stage of New York’s Longacre Theatre next month and will feature Jeanna de Waal as Princess Diana, Roe Hartrampf as Prince Charles, Erin Davie as Camilla Parker Bowles and two-time Tony Award winner Judy Kaye as Queen Elizabeth II. All starred in the La Jolla Playhouse production in 2019.

This marks the first time a theatrical event will have its streaming premiere before its opening night on Broadway. “Diana” transferred to Broadway following its sold-out extended run at the playhouse. The show went on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic before its scheduled Broadway opening March 31. The musical is now set to open on Broadway in May.

Princess Street trail planning complete

The Environmental Center of San Diego has completed the planning phase of the Princess Street Coastal Access Trail project in La Jolla. ECOSD presented the preliminary trail design to the California Coastal Commission on Aug. 13.

In 2019 and into 2020, ECOSD facilitated clearing and preparation of the site in partnership with Urban Corps, completion of a topographical survey of the site by SB&O Inc. and development of a master plan design of the site with landscape architecture firm Rana Creek.

The next steps for the project are engineering studies needed to construct the trail, and all associated permits. Once completed, the trail will restore public access to the coast at Princess Street.

UC San Diego raises record $344.4 million in private donations

UC San Diego says it raised a record $344.4 million in private donations during the 2019-20 fiscal year for everything from the war against the coronavirus to the study of empathy and compassion to helping fund promising young faculty.

It was the third consecutive year that UCSD surpassed the $300 million mark, and it pushed the university’s capital campaign total to $2.27 billion. Campus officials said they hope to hit $3 billion by the time the decade-long campaign ends in 2022.

The $344.4 million raised during the fiscal year that ended June 30 involved thousands of donors.

UCSD professor gets presidential STEM mentorship award

UC San Diego professor Olivia Graeve was recently recognized with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from the White House.

The award is granted to people whose efforts have helped improve access for underrepresented groups in STEM careers.

“It’s a great honor,” said Graeve, 48, who was nominated by UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla, professor Katja Lindenberg and dean Albert Pisano from UCSD’s Jacobs School of Engineering.

The winners usually receive the award in a ceremony in Washington, D.C., but this year, the award was given virtually Aug. 3 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Graeve, a Tijuana native, has been involved in many projects that seek to boost opportunities for Latinos and inspire a new generation of scientists and engineers in the binational region.

She is the director of the CaliBaja Center for Resilient Materials and Systems for researchers from Mexico and the United States, and the IDEA Student Center at the Jacobs School of Engineering, which supports students from underrepresented backgrounds.

UC San Diego Health gets high rankings in U.S. News list

U.S. News & World Report has ranked UC San Diego Health No. 1 in San Diego and No. 6 in the state based on its proficiency in 10 specialties, the university announced. The specialties are cancer; cardiology and heart surgery; gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery; geriatrics; gynecology; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery; orthopedics; pulmonology and urology.

As reported earlier this month, the combined medical programs of Scripps Green Hospital and Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla shared the No. 1 ranking in San Diego based on rankings in seven specialties.

For the 2020-21 rankings, U.S. News & World Report evaluated more than 4,500 hospitals nationwide in 16 specialties and 10 procedures and conditions.

National University reduces tuition for online and in-person instruction

National University, a La Jolla-based nonprofit university, announced Aug. 12 that its board of trustees approved a new tuition plan that would significantly reduce the cost of attendance, including scholarships that would make enrollment near-free for some students from low-income families. Programs are offered both online and at campuses throughout California and Nevada.

Specifically, the institution committed to:

  • Doubling the award amount of existing scholarships, enabling Pell Grant-eligible students to earn a bachelor’s degree for close to no cost
  • Creating Opportunity Scholarships, valued at $30 million total, for displaced workers and working adults in need of financial support to re-engage with their college studies
  • Launching the Fast Track Scholarship, which rewards students with a fourth tuition-free course for every three courses completed within a six-month period
  • Investing in additional on-demand support services designed to remove barriers to completing degrees

The steps were made possible through a 2019 gift to the university reserve fund by philanthropist T. Denny Sanford.

Champions for Health highlights flu vaccinations this month

In honor of National Immunization Awareness Month in August, San Diego-based Champions for Health is spotlighting the importance of flu vaccinations.

Flu vaccinations are considered part of a comprehensive public health strategy to reduce the burden of influenza but also to preserve scarce health care resources for the care of patients with COVID-19, according to CFH.

Starting in October, CFH, in partnership with the San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency and United Healthcare, will provide free flu clinics across the county. The pop-up clinics will be a hybrid of drive-through and walk-up, depending on the site. Learn more at

Compiled by La Jolla Light staff ◆