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Stories

A tale of generosities

Trude Hoffacker will never forget the year she was feeling down and the Dickens Universe conference boosted her spirits. "I said to a friend, let's go to this conference," she said. "Dickens always makes me laugh, and I need a laugh."

That was 1981. She hasn't missed a Dickens Universe since.

Hoffacker and other ardent Dickens lovers have pledged gifts to the Dickens Project, which puts on the conference program every summer, bringing together distinguished scholars, teachers, undergraduates, and members of the general public at UCSC for a week of study and festivity focusing on a single Dickens novel.

Several planned-giving donors, including Hoffacker, have also given cash gifts to the project.

Dickens Project director John Jordan – who is also a donor -- wants the current endowment drive to make the Dickens Project permanent and ensure that the Dickens Universe remains at UC Santa Cruz. The drive seeks to encourage current and future gifts, including bequests or planned gifts. “In an age when the liberal arts are often on the defensive, the Dickens Project stands out for its extraordinary success in combining innovative scholarly research with public outreach in the humanities."

Dickens admirer Michael Stern – who is making a planned gift, and has also donated cash to the project -- says the conference is unique because it appeals to academics as well as ordinary readers.

 “Distinguished scholars and accomplished performers come from around the world,” said Caitlin Croughan, another planned-gift supporter. “But so do lawyers, teachers, social workers, and entrepreneurs—gathering among the redwoods and in the foggy evenings on campus overlooking Monterey Bay."

To support the Dickens Project, please visit UCSC Online Giving.