[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/04/art.ucla.student.ap.jpg caption="UCLA student David Eaton, 25, checks his ballot after voting."]
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) - The historical significance of Tuesday's presidential election has a more poignant meaning for African-American students on the campus of UCLA, where polling began at 10a ET.
Voter turnout is heavy and lines were robust. Campus officials said more than 8,000 new registered voters were expected to turn out among the 30,000-plus student body population.
UCLA is where Ralph Johnson Bunche earned a bachelor's degree and became the first African-American to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950. Legendary hall of fame baseball great Jackie Robinson graduated from here and went on to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball in 1947.
Former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley was a scholar-athlete here.
Junior Rebecca Aladdin was overwhelmed with emotion because she grew up like Robinson in Pasadena, California, and went to the same middle school as him.
"I am the first one in my family to vote today and it brought me to tears placing my ballot in the box," Alladin said.
She credited her great-grandparents and civil rights pioneers like Robinson and other UCLA predecessors for providing the path toward racial equality in a presidential race.
"This is a moment that brings us closer to that chapter in American history."