Virginia and George Jansen

Building a Legacy: How a UCSC Professor Is Providing for the Library

July 14, 2011

Professor Emerita Virginia Jansen, History of Art and Visual Culture, and her husband George recently made known their estate intentions for UCSC and the McHenry Library. Photo of cherry blossoms at McHenry Library by Elise H. Mahoney.

By Astrid von Soosten

UCSC faculty aren’t known for complaining about making too much money—who is?—but dogged determination, a vision, and lasting dedication can go a long way.

Professor Emerita Virginia Jansen, History of Art and Visual Culture, and her husband George recently made known their estate intentions for UCSC and the McHenry Library. While the Library had long been aware that it was part of the Jansen’s estate plans, the degree of Virginia and George’s philanthropic commitment was a huge surprise.

As it turns out, the largest portion of their estate will come to UCSC, with the most substantial part going to support library collections in ancient and medieval architecture as well as history, art history, and architectural history.

Their gift may be substantial. What enables a UCSC professor to make such a gift? We asked—Virginia’s response: “We would not be able to give back to the university in this way, had we not been turning around every dime twice for a lifetime. We also don’t know how much of it we may have to spend on care at a later point in life, but we are really happy to know that our future gift will make a difference for the University and McHenry Library—the library that dutifully and reliably supported my research over 35 years.”

The daughter of a surgeon, Virginia does not (yet) pale when having to think about the end of this life. In her mind it is just a part of life and she is very content that she has dealt with the material aspects of it while she is here to indulge in the joy of giving.

Let's Celebrate Now

Have you remembered the UCSC University Library in your will? If so, we'd like to know so that we can celebrate your generosity now. Don't be shy! Your gift intention can be as public or as private as you want.

Contact Astrid von Soosten at avs@ucsc.edu or 831-459-5870.

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