Why I Give
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tough times would lay the framework for their future generosity.
year, even though I was working full-time, I had no money for school,"
he recalls. "So I went to the student-loan office and said,
'Look, I'm about to begin my third year and I don't have any money.
I'd like to take a loan.'
never forget what they said: 'But how can we loan you money? You
don't have any money. Your family has no money. So how can we loan
you any money?' I said, my God, there's something wrong with this
and Fran made a pledge: "We agreed that if we ever had any
money we were going to give it so other students won't have to put
up with what I did."
went on for his Ph.D. in psychology at Northwestern University,
served a stint in the Navy during World War II and took a job teaching
psychology at Washington University in St. Louis. He was recruited
to UCLA's School of Medicine in 1958, where he headed the Division
of Medical Psychology until 1986.
through on their pledge, the Menshes began to contribute to undergraduate
student scholarships in the College of Letters and Science. They
also funded an internship program at NPI and, when Mensh carved
out a specialty as a gerontologist, became supporters of the UCLA
Center on Aging.
Frances died, Ivan established a memorial fund that supports two
postdoctoral students at NPI who conduct neuropsychological patient
evaluations at the Frances and Ivan Mensh Memorial Psychological
doesn't keep track of exactly how much he gives, nor does he feel
the need to know all the students it goes to. But he enjoys their
write very nice letters," he says. "They say things like,
'I couldn't go to a place like UCLA without your scholarship, without
your support.' "