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UCLA TFT donors give to the UCLA Chancellor's Centennial Scholars Match Program

By Noela Hueso

As a way of inspiring others to give, in September 2016, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block launched the UCLA Chancellor’s Centennial Scholars Match program. Through June 30, 2017, qualifying gifts of $75,000 to $1 million given to undergraduate scholarships are matched by UCLA at 50 percent — and some generous, dedicated donors are meeting the challenge so that UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (UCLA TFT) students will benefit.

The Rosemary Kraemer Raitt Foundation was founded in 2005 by the widow of actor John Raitt, a powerful baritone best known for his work in musical theater in such original Broadway productions as Carousel, Oklahoma! and The Pajama Game. The foundation is a steadfast contributor to the school and to meet the Scholar’s Match dedicated $400,000 to its annual scholarship for undergraduate students in the UCLA TFT Ray Bolger Musical Theater Program. Upon the last payment of the commitment, this amount will be matched with $200,000.

Raitt, who passed away in December 2011, intended that the foundation would continue to increase its support of the school through the years and Raitt Foundation co-trustees John Kraemer (Raitt’s nephew) and Cheryl Hammond saw the Scholars Match opportunity as a perfect way to do so.

“We took the match offer as the catalyst for following through on our intention and setting the time frame for being able to expand the fund,” says Kraemer. “We’re expanding greatly the size of the endowed scholarship fund. The goal is that it will eventually be over $1 million after the matching dollars come in.”

Loyal UCLA TFT supporter Marianne Murphy, who was a theater major at the UCLA College of Fine Arts in the 1970s (now UCLA TFT), and an actor, producer and university instructor, has created her second scholarship for the school, the Marianne J. Murphy Endowed Scholarship Award. She has made a $75,000 commitment, to which the Centennial Scholars Match will contribute $37,500.

Murphy established her first award, the Department of Theater’s Marianne Murphy Women and Philanthropy Award, to support playwriting students. This new award has an even broader scope.

“I like the idea that it is going to be available schoolwide and that it will not only support writers but also encourage actors and directors, whether for stage or screen,” she says.

According to Murphy, it’s the least she could do.

“I learned a tremendous amount in my four years at UCLA,” she says. “I am forever grateful for the education I got there.”

Those interested in making a contribution to the school should contact Frederick E.A. Bush, Assistant Dean, Development & Alumni Affairs, at fbush@tft.ucla.edu or (310) 206-5999.

Posted: June 20, 2017