Help Future UC San Diego College Students by Planning Today

SusanSusan Papanek, who received her bachelor's degree from UC San Diego in 1975, is now a vice president of a software company in Carlsbad. Susan recently became a member of the York Society through a planned gift to UC San Diego.

"My favorite class at UCSD was Numerical Analysis," says Susan. "I thought it was so much fun, but I figured I'd never use it. As it turns out, the first job I had out of college was developing software and I was using my numerical analysis. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven!" A Computational Mathematics major in the days of mainframes, Susan has applied and used her UCSD education ever since. Over the years she's continued to tap into the wealth of knowledge on campus through the EPSE program and UCSD Extension courses.

"Education is a very personal thing for me," says Susan, "because my father was the first person in his family—a low income family in Pittsburg—to graduate from college. He always told me that at graduation, when he looked out at his whole family taking up the front row, he wasn't just graduating for himself but for everybody in his family," she remembers. "Dad became an aerospace engineer and had a great life."

And because of that, Susan's father was committed to enabling his five children to attend college. Susan's mother agreed. "My mom, who desperately wanted to go to college, was told that women didn't do that, that women maybe go to 'business schools' to learn to be typists. She always regretted that."

When her parents both passed away in 2001, her father perpetuated a family legacy of higher education by providing for college for each of their grandchildren. While working through her parents' estate, Susan realized she herself didn't have such a plan and decided it was time.

"I began really thinking about what was important to me when I just happened to see something online or in a magazine about a legacy gift to UCSD. I looked at it and realized that it would be a very personal gift for me, especially because of what was important to my parents. The education I received at UCSD and the career I've enjoyed because of it, I thought I could pass that on to somebody in the next generation."