Alice Crandell of Los Angeles is the mother of five of her own, the grandmother of 11, the great-grandmother of 12 and—at the age of 82—the mother-by-choice of more than 1,500 UCLA athletes. Ever since she first appointed herself den mother to UCLA's brawny brood of Bruins 20 years ago, Ma Crandell has been easily discernible in her blue-and-gold letterman's sweater at every UCLA athletic event. Moreover, she has been just as easily audible—urging the Bruins to victory by ringing one of her cowbells. "I have large ones for football," says Ma, "but they're too big for indoors, so I bring little ones to basketball games."
In gratitude for her maternal partisanship, UCLA athletes mow Ma's lawn, run her errands and, when they leave the campus, always remember to send her Christmas cards. Back in 1954 the Bruins even went so far as to dedicate a football game to her. "I don't think I'll ever forget it," says Ma Crandell. "And neither will Stanford. We beat them 72-0."