This endowment is established in loving memory of Lois Latta, who served as founding executive secretary for the division of Social Sciences at UC Santa Cruz from 1967-1977. Ms. Latta supported the pioneering work of such eminent UCSC social sciences faculty as Professors M. Brewster Smith in Psychology and Robert Adams in Economics. This endowment is also established in honor of the life-long friendship between Ms. Latta and the donor, William F. Berk. Ms. Latta occupied the garden cottage in Mr. Berk's backyard, and the two enjoyed many happy years together as neighbors, confidantes, and traveling companions. Ms. Latta was the daughter of missionaries who served in Burma, and she continued to be interested in religious issues and the study of religion throughout her life.
The purpose of this endowment to enrich UCSC Library collections in religious studies, which was a particular interest of Lois Latta. Income from the Lois Latta endowment will be used by the library's Religious Studies Bibliographer to acquire library materials in religious studies in all appropriate formats, including books, periodicals, reference materials, electronic and non-print media, and the like. Endowment income is intended to enhance the depth, character, and distinction of the UCSC religious studies collection and its usefulness for research and instruction.
As a second priority, as these purposes are fulfilled and the endowment grows, income may also be used to expand the library collection in other areas of the humanities related to religious studies.