December 16, 1996
Horticulture endowment established in honor of longtime library
Two sons colluded in a self-described conspiracy involving their
mother, and before they were done they had inveigled respectable
members of the local community, top campus administrators, and
three former chancellors to join in the scheme.
The sons, Mark Engel of Santa Cruz and Charlie Engel of Beverly
Hills, plotted to surprise their mother, Ruth, by establishing
a UCSC library endowment in her honor. The endowment was announced
on Friday, December 13, at the annual Dickens holiday gathering
at the McHenry Library (photo).
Close to 200 friends, family, and colleagues came to the event
to honor Mrs. Engel, who was working at the event as a volunteer.
She listened in surprise as her sons announced the establishment
of the Ruth Franklin Engel Horticulture Collection. The collection
was established through the library's subject endowment program.
Library subject endowments, created with a contribution of $10,000
or more, are an important means of expanding the library collection.
The private funds provide a source of ongoing support for acquisitions
in a specific area of interest. A special bookplate designed with
a beautiful hand-drawn rose will bear the endowment name on all
books purchased through this fund.
"Mom has always been utterly opposed to such flagrantly un-anonymous
donations," Mark Engel observed before the ceremony. But
her sons proceeded anyway, eager to acknowledge Mrs. Engel's dedication
as a longtime UCSC volunteer. The sons chose horticulture for
the library endowment, tying together Mrs. Engel's twin interests
of gardening and the library.
Both Mrs. Engel and her son Mark are members of the Friends of
the UCSC Library. Before resigning earlier this year, Mrs. Engel
had served as chair of the Friends' Membership Committee for more
than a decade. In addition, she is an active member of the Garden
Club of the UCSC Women's Club, a member and former board member
of the Friends of the UCSC Farm and Garden, and a member of the
"It's a real pleasure to see Ruth receive this well-deserved
recognition," said University Librarian Allan Dyson. "Ruth
is a devoted volunteer who has served the Friends of the UCSC
Library in one capacity or another for more years than either
she or I would care to remember."
Additional donations to the Ruth Franklin Engel Horticulture Collection
may be made to the UC Santa Cruz Foundation, 1156 High Street,
Carriage House, Santa Cruz, CA, 95064-1077.
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