As November draws to a close, our University Library remains a remarkable blend of academic excellence and natural beauty. The redwoods on our campus, the coastal fog and the first raindrops provide an incredible environment for knowledge to thrive. What an amazing place to work and study.
In this newsletter we spotlight planned giving, featuring an insightful interview with Lora Hollingsworth, our new Executive Director of Gift Planning at UC Santa Cruz. We know that many of you have the Library or other campus programs designated as a beneficiary of your estate plans. I would like to thank each and everyone of you for safeguarding our literary legacy and for preserving and fostering the spirit of learning and discovery at the University Library in such a meaningful way.
Another article below that holds a special place in our hearts is "Honoring a legacy: Memorial scholarship empowers impactful students." This scholarship was established in memory of Josh Alper, an alumnus and former Library staff member, by his parents Ted and the late Marsha Alper. It is awarded to students with financial need who, like Josh, volunteer and make a positive impact in the community. The scholarship recipients truly embody the values and passions that Josh held dear, carrying his memory and ethos forward. We miss Josh every day at the Library, but it’s heartwarming to know that his community spirit lives on through the scholarship recipients.
Last month, the Collectors Club convened to select rare and distinctive items for our Special Collections & Archives. These meticulously chosen acquisitions enrich our special collections with rare books and artist books, playing a pivotal role in supporting undergraduate education and hands-on learning. Participating in their deliberations is always a delight, as they collectively determine which materials to acquire for the University Library, made possible through their generous donations. Thank you to all of our Collectors Club members. I invite anyone interested to join to get in touch with Liz White (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Finally, I’m thrilled to announce the appointment of Kelsey Knox as our University Archivist. Within the domain of Special Collections & Archives, Kelsey takes on the significant responsibility of chronicling the University's rich history, with a particular focus on the vibrant tapestry of student life. Kelsey, a proud Porter College alumna ('12), returns to UCSC after earning her MLIS from UCLA and contributing eight years of expertise as the Archivist for Special Collections & University Archives at Pepperdine University.
Planned giving: Creating lasting impact at UCSC through generous legacy gifts. An interview with Lora Hollingsworth, executive director of gift planning at UC Santa Cruz
By Liz White
First off, can you explain what planned giving is?
Planned giving is a way for donors to make a meaningful philanthropic donation to a cause or organization they care about. Planned gifts take careful planning, including making a tax-smart gift today or naming an organization as a beneficiary in your will. By considering your overall financial, personal and philanthropic goals, a planned gift may enable you to make a much more significant gift than you may have thought possible. It’s a way for donors to establish an important charitable legacy during their lifetime and, possibly for years and years after.
Can you provide specific examples of how planned gifts positively impact UCSC?
There are countless examples of how these special gifts support our students, faculty, research and campus. Recently, we’ve had several alumni who have left legacy gifts that will go to our Educational Opportunity Program and provide support to first-generation students on their path to academic success. These donors, who were the first in their families to go to college, want to ensure programs continue to exist to help students like them.
Another young alumna recently made Santa Cruz the beneficiary of her life insurance policy. She wants her gift to go to the Feminist Studies Department with the aim of empowering women like her as leaders and innovators.
This summer, a longtime UC Santa Cruz librarian who helped shape the library in its early years sadly passed away, and we received a generous gift to augment an endowment he established during his lifetime. We have the honor of accepting his legacy gift, which will provide the library with funds to ensure students have access to the physical and online materials they need.
No matter the size, planned gifts make a difference in many ways across our campus.
What should people who already have us in their will do? Who should they contact?
If you’ve named UC Santa Cruz as a beneficiary in your will or other estate plans, we encourage you to share your intentions with us. We’d love to recognize you and thank you for your generous act, and welcome you as a member of our Legacy Circle. Our Legacy Circle donors are invited to unique events and receive special communications throughout the year. If you prefer to remain anonymous, we will honor your wishes.
What is the benefit to the donor in documenting their bequest with us?
Peace of mind. When donors make the decision to include a charitable gift in their will, we know they want that gift to be received and used efficiently and in line with their wishes. By sharing your plans with us now, we can ensure that the university will be able to fulfill your wishes in the future. Unfortunately, we sometimes see situations where things don’t go so smoothly. I’ve seen cases where a lack of clarity in the organization or program’s name in the will causes confusion and delays or others where the donor’s written wishes conflict with policy or law. It’s always disappointing to see that when we know it could have been avoided if we’d had a chance to talk with the donors during their lifetimes.
Lastly, what do you like most about your job?
There are many things that I love about the work I get to do. I meet so many people and learn about their passions and the way they want to have an impact in the world. I help facilitate giving that will make a difference for our students today and in the future. The best is when I help donors feel confident and excited about the legacy they plan to leave behind. What’s more, as an alumna, it’s especially meaningful to me to support the philanthropic efforts of the university I love.
If you want to learn more about Planned Giving to UC Santa Cruz or the Library, don't hesitate to contact Liz White at email@example.com or (831) 332-2039.
Honoring a legacy: Memorial scholarship empowers students making an impact
By Christy Tall
Bryant Miguel aka Rip Florence is an artist, collaborator, connector, and community builder. A self-proclaimed outsider singer-songwriter, Miguel curates a Santa Cruz-based DIY record label, Shallow Dive Records, that shares the sounds of marginalized local artists.
“The project is a series of individual recording sessions that will be translated into a vinyl compilation record of local music,” says Miguel (Merrill ’24, sociology). “But it has the potential to dig so much deeper—creating an impetus for deeper collaboration, communication, friendships, and prioritization of community over the self.”
This dedication to strengthening community and serving others contributed to Miguel’s selection as a Josh Alper Scholarship award recipient—an award that celebrates UC Santa Cruz students who demonstrate an independent DIY spirit, inspire others by being inclusive and community-minded, and bring people together for a cause, purpose, or fun.
The scholarship was established at UC Santa Cruz in memory of Josh Alper, an alumnus and former Library staff member, by his parents Ted and Marsha Alper. It is awarded to students with financial need who—as Josh did—volunteer and make an impact in the community.
Josh was an artist, a cyclist, a musician, and dedicated community member. He was killed in a bicycle accident in November 2013 at the age of 40. He would have celebrated his 50th birthday this October.
“Josh was a good person, a generous person,” his father Ted Alper shares. “He cared deeply for others. I am so glad his name lives on [through the scholarship].” UC Santa Cruz Librarian, Elizabeth Cowell, agrees.
“Josh embodied UCSC—he engaged fully in the campus community and the Santa Cruz community in really positive and creative ways,” Cowell says. “And the scholarship recipients always seem to embody a lot of what Josh cared about. To see his legacy carry on is really impactful. The students learn about him and really do care. They carry his memory and his ethos forward.”
Kahena Wilhite (Stevenson ’24, Anthropology and Arabic) was drawn to UC Santa Cruz for the university’s beauty and outdoor activities as well as its spirit of social justice and community. An artist, musician and community leader, Wilhite is inspired to have been selected as a Josh Alper Scholarship recipient.
“The scholarship supports people like me who want to do things out of pure love for the arts and community but may not necessarily have that opportunity,” Wilhite says. “I think about Josh a lot and I think about what he might have been like. I love that he is being acknowledged for his creativity and his spirit because that's not necessarily something that's always highlighted.”
The cross cultural component of the scholarship particularly resonates with Wilhite. Throughout her studies and her love for languages, she has connected with many cultural backgrounds on campus. She speaks three foreign languages and is learning Arabic, giving her the opportunity to get to know people despite differences.
Wilhite is currently applying to Master’s programs in Europe and the UC System to further her education in environmental studies or global development. Ultimately she’d like to work for USAID or the UN in order to work abroad.
Wilhite’s father passed away while she was in high school. She says she has kept his spirit alive by doing things that he loved, and is inspired how the scholarship is doing the same for Josh and his dad.
“I hope he [Ted] knows that we are keeping Josh’s spirit alive through this scholarship.”
Mery Ter-Avetisyan (Stevenson ’25, psychology) grew up in a large Armenian community, with a strong support system and people to lean on. This background and her love for community are what drew her to UC Santa Cruz.
“I love meeting new people and bringing people together, and I love the energy that forms from people sharing common interests and passions and talking about all the things that they can accomplish together,” Ter-Avetisyan says.
Like Josh, Ter-Avetisyan is an avid cyclist and is deeply involved with the local Santa Cruz biking community. She also helps coordinate clothing swaps and food coops where students can get healthy, affordable food.
Following graduation, Ter-Avetisyan hopes to immerse herself in travel and culture. She has used part of her scholarship funds to obtain her scuba diving certification, which has been a lifetime goal. She’s unclear on her future plans, but conversations with Ted Alper have helped.
“He’s been such a big support for me,” she says. “He knows so much about psychology, he’s given me books to read, and grant information. He’s just been so helpful. I feel fortunate to have this connection. This [scholarship] is just an incredible thing and it feels really good to be a part of.”
Building for the future
The Josh Alper scholarship is a beautiful tribute to a very special individual. Since its inception, the scholarship has been awarded to more than 40 UC Santa Cruz students. The community that has grown among the scholarship recipients, the university, and Ted Alper reflects Josh’s spirit of kindness and collaboration. Ted Alper has helped ensure that community will continue to grow.
Following Marsha’s death, Ted Alper put the Josh Alper Scholarship in his will, which—when it is realized—will add proceeds from his Palo Alto home. Noting the value of the house has multiplied many times since he bought it, Ted says he hopes that others will realize that appreciated real estate and other property creates opportunities to help people.
“This is a way I can ensure that a cause I care very deeply about will continue,” Ted says.
And while the scholarship also ensures that Josh’s legacy will live on, it’s clear that he left an indelible mark at UC Santa Cruz: “Josh was an avid cyclist. I ride my bike to campus almost every day,” UC Santa Cruz Librarian, Elizabeth Cowell says. “And there's a whiteboard in our bike room that says, ‘Thinking about you, Josh.’ I want Ted to know: We still feel him, he’s here with us, we miss him every day.”
Enriching education one rare book at a time: The Collectors Club at UC Santa Cruz
By Liz White
Imagine you are an undergraduate student who has never seen or touched a rare book before. Your professor brings you to Special Collections & Archives on the third floor of McHenry Library. It is a small room, but it is filled with treasures.
The Head of Special Collections and her team of librarians has thoughtfully pulled a select few books for your class to get up close and personal with. You get to handle and flip the pages of the rare books. One of the volumes is Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. You turn the pages
gently as you consider what life must have been like in 1845.
Or perhaps you visit Special Collections & Archives with your art professor and are inspired by the techniques used in the creation of SC&A’s artist book collection. You peruse Goodbye Bonita Lagoon, A Papermakers Elegy by local artists Peter and Donna Thomas (2023) . This book is more like a work of art (hence the name, artist book) and was created using paper handmade by materials the artist found at the lagoon.
These opportunities are made possible by the Collectors Club at UC Santa Cruz. Collectors Club members make an annual gift of $500 to be used by Special Collections & Archives to purchase rare books and artist books for undergraduate education and hands-on learning. At the end of the year, Collectors Club members vote on which volumes should be acquired for the University using their pool of donations.
Collectors Club donations help us purchase rare books, photographs, maps, artworks, and other materials to strengthen the holdings of Special Collections & Archives. In appreciation, members are invited to participate in several unique events. You can learn more about becoming a Collectors Club member here or by emailing Liz White, Assistant Director of Development for the Library at firstname.lastname@example.org
Preserving our past, celebrating our students: Meet Kelsey Knox, our new University Archivist
The University Library is excited to announce the appointment of Kelsey Knox to the position of University Archivist. Based in Special Collections & Archives, Kelsey is tasked with documenting the history of the University, with a particular focus on student life. Kelsey (Porter ‘12) returns to UCSC after earning her MLIS from UCLA and working for eight years as the Archivist for Special Collections & University Archives at Pepperdine University in Malibu.
Kelsey joined the Special Collections team in June and has already met with numerous stakeholders on campus, including the directors of the Resource Centers and representatives from the Student Union Assembly. She notes that she is most excited about “being back at my alma mater and getting to learn more about and preserve the history of the university, which I've been fascinated with since I first arrived on campus as a first-year student.” In her short tenure on campus, Kelsey has begun to arrange and describe the recently transferred historical records of Cowell College (over 70 feet of material!), curated a small exhibit on the history of Sammy the Slug and led several instruction sessions discussing the history of UCSC with undergraduates.
If the University Library holds a special place in your heart,
and you value the countless ways it enriches our campus community and extends its impact beyond,
we kindly invite you to make a gift to support our ongoing efforts.
Contributors: Elizabeth Cowell, Joop Rubens, Liz White, Linda Hunt, Teresa Mora, Christy Tall
Production: Linda Hunt
Copyediting: Greg Careaga
Photography: Carolyn Lagattuta, Joop Rubens, Liz White, Linda Hunt, Teresa Mora and the Alper family