A $5 million gift was announced today to establish a women's leadership center at Scripps College.
The LASPA Center for Leadership at Scripps College, the women's college of The Claremont Colleges, "will embody programming focusing on 21st century leadership, including leadership, analysis, scholarship, public service and action," according to a statement released by the college.
The donors are Scripps graduate Eileen Schock Laspa, who served as a Scripps College trustee from 1996 to 1999, and her husband Jude Laspa, a former Bechtel Group executive who attended Harvey Mudd College.
"The Laspas have lived a life marked by leadership and service in the public and private sectors. Their remarkable legacy of service will carry forward with the work of the center," said Scripps President Lori Bettison- Varga.
According to a Scripps statement, the center "will advance the overall mission of Scripps College to educate women to develop their intellects and talents through participation in a community of scholars so as graduates they may contribute to society through public and private lives of leadership, service, integrity and creativity."
"It will provide students with new opportunities to work closely with extraordinary leaders, especially women, in areas such as art, science, business, education, media, government and social entrepreneurship through strategic national and international partnerships and a visiting practitioners and scholars program," the statement continued.
Plans include a component to support graduates throughout their lives with programming for professional development.
Eileen Laspa said she and her husband "are very pleased to help make the Leadership Center a reality as a resource to help enrich the educational experience at Scripps College and to better prepare our students for productive and impactful lives in whatever career field they follow."
Additional fundraising is under way, including support for the center's yet-to-be-determined physical location on campus, endowment funds to secure its long-term future and seed funds to initiate programming. A nationwide search will begin soon for the director.
This is the second million dollar donation the school has gotten in less than a month. In late February, the school was awarded a $5.5 million gift from former board chairman Sidney J. Weinberg Jr.'s foundation.
In 2010, the Weinberg Foundation pledged $3 million to Scripps, as well as $2 million for for Claremont McKenna College, to establish The Weinberg Family Dean of Science Endowment Fund for the W.M. Keck Science Department. The additional $5.5 million was donated in anticipation of a fundraising initiative.