Donor Recalls Nearly a Half Century of Giving Back to USD
When she married School of Law Professor Joseph Brock in the Immaculata in 1963, Betty Brock had no idea what an important role USD would continue to play in her life for the next five decades.
Betty went into the workforce right out of high school and she credits her husband for encouraging her to follow her dream of going to college. She started taking classes at the College for Women in 1965 and still recalls attending first Friday Masses, dissecting pigs in science classes and photocopying research materials from the library so she could study at home in the evenings while her husband prepared his lesson plans.
Betty was part of a group known as the Law Wives. The group, made up of wives of students at the law school, met to play bridge, host tea parties and provide snacks for law students during exams.
When Joseph took over as acting dean from 1970 to 1972, the School of Law was expanding. Betty remembers that some professors taught classes for an annual salary of $1 and were dubbed as "Dollar-a-Year" professors.
Joseph wanted to do his part to help the young university grow and thrive so when he established his living trust, he made a bequest to USD. He retired from the university in 1976 and passed away in 1985.
Betty says Joseph purposely chose to leave an unrestricted gift. "Joseph said it should be used where it was most needed," she recalls, "whether that was for student scholarships or to hire good faculty."
Betty eventually began raising money for the university in her own ways. She was president of the USD Auxiliary and helped put on fashion shows and even the Dean's Ball, a formal, black-tie affair that evolved into what is now Alumni Honors. She also was active in Friends of Music, a group that helped raise money for the music department. Betty eventually joined the board of the Patrons of the Fine Arts, which supported USD's endowment by promoting attendance at cultural events on campus.
She also recognized the importance of giving personally and understood the concept that every gift, no matter the size, makes a difference. Her first gift, for $15, came in 1971, a year before the College for Men, the College for Women and the School of Law merged to become the University of San Diego. Her gifts have grown over the years, but what's more notable is that she has faithfully given every year since 1971, earning her recognition as a loyal donor of more than 40 years.
To this day, Betty is still involved in Bridges Academy and University of the Third Age. She still attends Mass at the Immaculata and often has brunch at La Gran Terraza, where everybody knows her name.
"I love this campus," Betty says. "The growth has been phenomenal and I'm always amazed by the beauty. Every time I have a guest, I bring them here. I'm so proud of this university and it's a pleasure to have been part of it all."
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