CLAREMONT, Calif.--()--President Lori Bettison-Varga today announced a $5 million gift to establish a women’s leadership center at Scripps College. The new center will be named in honor of Eileen Schock Laspa ’67, P’95 and Jude Laspa, Harvey Mudd College ’65, P’95 who made the keystone gift. 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.
“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”
“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,” Bettison-Varga said. “Their transformative gift will impact the College and its students for generations to come. We are thankful for this wonderful gift.”
The LASPA 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. Research and Action Grants, resources for faculty-student research, and expanded internship partnerships are also critical to the Center’s model. In addition, it will include a component to support graduates throughout their lives with programming for professional development.
Eileen Laspa served as a Scripps College trustee from 1996 to 1999. She and her husband share a love for the College and the opportunities it provides to young women. “We 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,” said Eileen Laspa.
The Laspas have demonstrated a consistent commitment to leadership and serving their communities. Eileen Laspa has served as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) assisting court officials to make the best possible decisions in the cases of abused and neglected children, and she also has given her time as a Board member to Planned Parenthood as well as other important roles. Jude Laspa retired from Bechtel Group, Inc., one of the largest private companies in the U.S. During his career with the company he held key posts as deputy chief operating officer, executive vice president and director, and served as president of Bechtel’s Asia Pacific Region in Hong Kong. The Laspas also have played leadership roles in a number of other non-profit organizations, starting with their involvement with neighborhood organizations in the 1970’s and continuing to today.
Additional fund raising for the LASPA Center will continue, including support for the Center’s yet-to-be-determined physical location on campus, endowment funds to secure the Center’s long-term future, and seed funds to initiate programming. A nationwide search will begin soon for the director.