A UCLA alumnus and Los Angeles attorney has pledged to donate $900,000 to UCLA's Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies in coming years, UCLA announced in a statement Thursday.
Harry C. Sigman, who has taught law at UCLA and other universities around the world, donated the money to be invested in three endowment funds in his name – one for undergraduate scholarships to study abroad in Israel, one for a graduate fellowship and one for lectures and panels on Israel that will be open to students and the public.
Sigman's donation will go to UCLA in increments, with the university receiving the first $120,000 at the end of January, said Maura Resnick, the deputy director of the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. The rest of the donation will be given through Sigman or his estate in coming years.
The initial donation will fund scholarships for undergraduate students to study in Israel and is expected to accrue about $6,000 per year in interest for the center to use in the future since it is being given in the form of an endowment.
Students in any UCLA graduate school will be able to apply for the graduate fellowship fund as long as their doctoral research focuses on Israel, Resnick said.
The donation, which was confirmed on Sept. 9, is the second largest the center has received since it launched in 2005 with a $5 million donation from the Nazarian family. The center examines history, culture and society in modern Israel, according to its website.
Sigman completed his undergraduate education at UCLA in 1960 and earned his graduate degree at Harvard Law School. He has also donated annually in recent years to the center as a member of the Friends of the Nazarian Center for Israel Study, Resnick said.