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Sandy and Lena Astin: Support for Education Graduate Students

Sandy and Lena Astin: Support for Education Graduate Students

They have written 31 books between them and shared an academic home at UCLA's Graduate School of Education & Information Studies (GSE&IS) for nearly three decades. Now, emeriti professors Alexander and Helen Astin, better known to colleagues as Sandy and Lena, have endowed two graduate fellowships in their former division: higher education and organizational change.

"We hope to perpetuate study in the fields we both love," Lena says, "in a way that supports scholarship that is both interesting to students and will advance the field." Sandy adds, "Our lives have been enriched by the generations of students we have been privileged to teach, and we are honored to have our names permanently linked with UCLA, GSE&IS, and its future scholars."

Sandy is founding director of the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA and the Cooperative Institutional Research Program. Lena has served as associate provost of UCLA's College of Letters and Science and in leadership roles at Mount St. Mary's College, Hampshire College and other organizations.

The Astins were among UCLA's first benefactors to capitalize on the Pension Protection Act of 2006, which allowed taxpayers 70 1/2 years and older to make tax free charitable gifts with Individual Retirement Account (IRA) funds. IRA withdrawals are typically considered taxable income. The legislation created an exception in 2006 and 2007, sheltering withdrawals from federal income taxes if donated directly to qualified charities such as UCLA.


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