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Remembering UC San Diego Friends Miriam and Jerome Katzin

Miriam and Jerome Katzin

Miriam and Jerome Katzin

Leadership, faculty and staff at the University of California, San Diego are mourning the recent loss of two generous friends to the campus: philanthropists Miriam and Jerome Katzin. Married for more than 75 years, Miriam died on June 2; Jerome’s death followed less than two weeks later on June 14.

For three decades, Miriam and Jerome Katzin ranked among UC San Diego’s closest friends and most steadfast benefactors through numerous gifts and years of wise counsel. Their philanthropy was marked by such gifts as an endowment to establish The Katzin Prize Endowment Fund to support UC San Diego graduate students, the Katzin Research Laboratories at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, the Katzin Chair in Jewish Civilization, the Courtyard at Muir College, the Chair in Corporate Governance at the Rady School of Management and important support of the Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center, among other faculty chairs and funds. They were involved with the San Diego Jewish community, and gave to many causes in our region.

“Miriam and Jerry were supportive of UC San Diego almost since its beginning. They always hoped that their charitable gifts would inspire others to support UC San Diego—and they have,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “The Katzins made an incredible impact on our campus community that will last for generations. Their passing in the same month is incredibly sad; they will be greatly missed.”

For years, the Katzins steadily championed the university as one of San Diego’s most important assets. In recognition of their outstanding support and service to UC San Diego, Miriam and Jerome Katzin received the prestigious Chancellor’s Medal during the campus’s 50th Anniversary celebration in 2010. The Chancellor’s Medal is one of the highest honors bestowed by the university. Conceived in 2000, the medal has been given to a select few whose long-standing contributions have supported promising students and furthered meaningful research, community leaders who have helped the campus and local communities grow and prosper, and extraordinary individuals who have inspired the community and enhanced the quality of life for San Diegans through their involvement with UC San Diego.

The Katzins moved from New York to La Jolla in 1973. They both grew up in Chicago and graduated in 1939 from the University of Chicago, where Jerome also received his law degree in 1941. Miriam earned a master’s degree in education from Chicago Teachers College and advanced training at Bank Street College in New York.

Jerome was a partner/managing director of Kuhn Loeb in New York City and then Lehman Brothers, where he was one of the nation’s leading experts in financing public works. As longtime financial advisor to the National Rural Utilities cooperative, he was instrumental in bringing electricity to rural America. Jerome served on more than 20 corporate boards of directors, including Qualcomm from 1987 to 2005 and the Price Company from its early days through its merger into Costco. He also served on the Rady School of Management Dean’s Advisory Council and was instrumental in advancing the UC San Diego Foundation, serving on the Board of Trustees, which he chaired in 1992-93. In 2010, Jerome was commemorated for attending his 300th UC San Diego Foundation meeting over the last three decades, a record that has not yet been broken. Miriam worked for ten years in Great Neck, N.Y., as a remedial reading teacher and, upon moving to La Jolla, instituted and administered a similar program at Torrey Pines Elementary School.

The Katzins are survived by their children, David, Daniel and Diane Katzin, and two grandchildren, Erica Katzin and Katrina Kurnit. The family suggests that donations be made in Miriam and Jerome Katzin’s name to the Seacrest Foundation, 211 Saxony Road, Encinitas CA 92024.