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Alumna Creates Scholarship Fund While Enhancing Retirement

Alumna Creates Scholarship Fund While Enhancing Retirement

Miss Sunao Imoto, '39, is pleased to have established the Tsuru Imoto Endowed Scholarship Fund at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies in memory of her beloved mother, Tsuru Imoto.

She funded this wonderful gift through a series of UCLA charitable gift annuities. Miss Imoto's gift annuities will fund her gift over time while providing her with generous payments that will not decrease over the remainder of her lifetime. In addition, she enjoys immediate income tax savings.

More information about gift annuities is featured in this issue of Insights & Options.

Message to Remember

In accordance with Miss Imoto's wishes, all future recipients of the Tsuru Imoto scholarship will receive the following letter:

To: The Recipient of the Tsuru Imoto Scholarship Award

Tsuru Imoto, whom this award honors, was born in 1892, the daughter of a peasant rice farmer in Kyushu, Japan. Being a girl, she was permitted to attend grammar school only until she would be mature enough to help on the farm.

While in school, she became enchanted with the story of Florence Nightingale, a British nurse who had become known for her selfless work during the Crimean War. Tsuru permitted herself to dream that one day she too would become a nurse and be of service to others.

At the age of 12, however, Tsuru was removed from school and was taught to operate a simple hand loom. She spent the rest of her youth, from dawn to dusk, weaving rough mats from the stacks of straw remaining after rice harvest.

When she reached the age of 18, her parents arranged for her marriage to Chotaro Imoto, a distant cousin who had emigrated to a land across the sea to labor in the work camps operated by the Union Pacific Railroad.

Tsuru arrived in San Francisco in 1910, knowing only a few words of English taught to her by the local schoolteacher: "Good morning, sir- Thank you, madam- My name is Tsuru."

After their marriage, Tsuru and Chotaro were able to lease a few acres of land and become vegetable farmers.

While mothering six children and laboring in the field as time permitted, Tsuru slowly relinquished her childhood fantasies, which gradually dimmed and became part of an irretrievable past.

She transferred her dreams to her children by encouraging them to excel in a language which remained foreign to her ears and which developed into a barrier between herself and her "American" children.

She measured her worth by the diplomas that accumulated in the household: first grammar school, then high school, and finally university, one for each of her children.

During World War II, Tsuru and her family were incarcerated with other Japanese families in a holding camp in the Arizona desert.

At war's end, she was freed in time to see her youngest child graduate from college and start a professional career. She said, "Thanks to the gods, my life is now complete."

This award is presented to you with the hope that Tsuru Imoto's dreams will find increased fulfillment when you too can make your dreams come true.


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UCLA charitable gift annuities-Higher rates effective January 1, 2024! For more information, contact [email protected] or 800-737-8252