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Spring 2002
Why I Give
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"And there's more," Katz continues. "UCLA is the school that our children are attending." Shoshannah, the Katzes' 26-year-old daughter, received a B.A. in theater in 1996. Their other daughter, Marlene, 21, is currently a senior majoring in theater, and Shoshannah now is back on campus, attending the law school's four-year J.D./M.B.A. program.

"Clearly," Katz concludes, "UCLA has had a direct and positive impact upon me and my family."

And now Andrew and Denise Katz are making a positive impact of their own, having contributed nearly $40,000 in 55 gifts spanning one end of the campus to the other — from the law school to engineering to the School of Theater, Film and Television and, as avid Bruin basketball fans, the Athletic Fund.

The significance of their contributions became especially clear after Shoshannah was admitted to UCLA, Katz says. "We recognized that Shoshannah's going to UCLA was saving us a bundle compared to a private school," Katz says. But when a fellow alum contacted them to talk about the decline in state support for the school, Katz says, "we felt it was incumbent upon us to go ahead and start contributing to undergraduate education generally."

The Katzes direct a large part of their donations to the UCLA Fund, which provides unrestricted funds for Chancellor Albert Carnesale's use in meeting the university's greatest needs.

"There are no strings attached," Katz says. "If the opportunity comes along for the library to acquire a rare book, these funds might be used for that. Or for community outreach. Or to enable the university to have a visiting professor it wouldn't otherwise be able to land."

Katz also serves as vice chair of the Chancellor's Associates, those UCLA Fund donors who contribute $2,500 or more each year. And he has been a strong supporter of the Parents Fund, which focuses on the parents of incoming students.

"We want parents to have a sense of belonging, independent of their children," Katz says. The Parents Fund provides an opportunity to get to know other parents while also connecting them with a UCLA liaison to help them better negotiate what can sometimes be an overwhelming, complex campus.

"In many ways," Katz says, "contributions like ours make the difference between UCLA's being able to provide an education for our students and being able to provide the best possible education."

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