Champions for Tolerance and Diversity

Champions for Tolerance and Diversity
Irv and Nancy Chase with Nobel Peace Prize laureate, the late Elie Wiesel
Irv and Nancy Chase with Nobel Peace Prize laureate, the late Elie Wiesel, a Distinguished Presidential Fellow at Chapman University.

In 2005, Irving and Nancy Chase were invited to attend a gala for the Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education at Chapman University. Following their initial visit to campus, they got to know Marilyn Harran, director of the center and Stern Chair in Holocaust Education, and developed a deep respect for her work and commitment to Holocaust education.

"We became convinced that Chapman University was a place that valued Holocaust survivors, was teaching students the importance of respecting people's differences and was welcoming and nurturing to all people regardless of their race, religion or creed," said Irv.

Because of their passion for fostering diversity and tolerance through education, the Chases came to the decision to make a major gift to support the work of Harran and the Rodgers Center. Combining a cash and bequest gift, the couple established The Irving and Nancy Chase Endowed Professorship in Holocaust and Jewish History, which was announced at the Evening of Holocaust Remembrance event in April.

The Chases' vision for establishing this new professorship is to educate students about the rich and vibrant history of Jewish people and culture. The couple hopes that in gaining a deeper understanding about other religions and cultures, Chapman students will be better prepared to face a diverse and changing world in their professional and personal lives.

"The more that we can learn about people, all people, regardless of their race, religion and creed, the better," said Irv. "The only way to prevent social injustices and intolerances is by educating people about those who are different."

The Chases are committed to encouraging others to support philanthropic causes through estate planning. In fact, their gift to establish The Irving and Nancy Chase Endowed Professorship in Holocaust and Jewish History has already inspired other donors to make contributions to support Holocaust education at Chapman University.

"The giving of an estate gift allows you to reach beyond what you would be able to give in your lifetime," said Nancy. "It allows you to dream big."

Since attending their first Chapman event seven years ago, Irv and Nancy have quickly become two of the university's most dedicated and active supporters. The couple serves together as co-chairs of the Rodgers Center Board of Visitors and Irv also serves on the Board of Trustees and as chair of the Chapman Family Task Force.

"The Chases epitomize the values of generosity, service, integrity, and love of learning which we hope our students will learn at Chapman and carry with them throughout their lives," said Harran.

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