Donor's Passion for Reading Helps Write a New Chapter of Opportunity for USD Students

Dolores JuditzIf, as the old adage suggests, reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body, then consider 78 year old Dolores Juditz fit enough to swim laps with Michael Phelps, tee it up with Tiger Woods and shoot baskets with Lebron James - all in the same day. Who knows? She might even be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

"I've been an avid reader since I can remember," Juditz, a retired personal finance manager, recalls. "When I was in grammar school, we had a small library that we had access to, and I read every single book from cover to cover. It's so wonderful how books introduce you to such interesting people and places."

From historical biographies to science fiction, Juditz developed a dynamic literary palate from a young age and shows no signs of slowing down, much to the delight of bookstore proprietors throughout San Diego.

"I remember when I was very young and my parents gave my brother and I the Wonderland of Knowledge Series of Encyclopedias, volumes A to Z. We read every single page of every single book," she says. "Now I'll read just about anything. I've even read my grandson's Harry Potter books!"

Aside from her lifelong love of literature, Juditz is also a staunch supporter of education, and for providing opportunities to those who may not have the financial resources necessary to attend a nationally prominent academic institution like the University of San Diego. To that end, she has contributed to USD's Bridges Endowed Scholarship Fund, and takes great pride in witnessing the immediate and indelible impacts her donations make in the lives of deserving students.

"I recently attended the Bridges Scholarship Luncheon and had a chance to meet the two student scholars, Amanda (Whitlock) and Michael (Ahmad). It's so gratifying to see your donation go to amazing young people who have such bright futures."

Juditz was able to make her donation through an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) Charitable Rollover, which allows individuals aged 70 ½ years and older to donate up to $100,000 from their IRAs and Roth IRAs to public charities without having to count the distributions as taxable income. She credits USD Senior Director of Planned Giving John Philips with making the donation process as seamless as possible.

"John is a great guy to talk to - not pushy, but well informed," Juditz says. "He also was helpful in providing the information I needed in order to understand why it was so important to give to the Bridges Scholarship Fund. Believe me, I know the difficulties of paying tuition costs."

As the matriarch of a large family comprised of six children (five of whom attended University of San Diego High School) and seven grandchildren, Juditz is very familiar with the economic challenges associated with paying for a top-quality education, and the sacrifices that need to be made in order to achieve that end.

"Back in New York, I worked during the day in order to put myself through business school classes at night, so I know how hard it can be to make things work," she says.

"I also know that when my kids went to school, they needed a lot of things, and at the time I really couldn't provide that on my own. I'll always be extremely grateful for the support my family received, and I want to ‘pay it forward,' as the kids say these days."

In addition to her philanthropic endeavors at USD, Juditz is also actively involved in the University of the Third Age (U3A) program, which fosters lifelong learning opportunities for people over the age of 55. While the U3A has definitely exposed her to some new and exciting areas of study, it should come as no surprise as to what is her favorite.

"I've really enjoyed my experiences with the U3A program, as you meet so many interesting people and learn about so many interesting things," she says. "I really love listening to one of my teachers, who is a librarian, talk about all the new and interesting books to read!"

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