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Shelly Osborne '61

She’s been in tune with the arts from an early age, attending the ballet, opera, and symphony with her mother, and playing the piano herself. No stranger to play of another sort, Shelly was also on her high school’s volleyball team. Today her game of choice focuses on dunks rather than volleys as she cheers on the Cal women’s basketball team.
 
Now Shelly is putting her home where her heart is — with a gift of real estate to Cal. Shelly owned a residential property that she had lived in and rented out over the past 35 years. She had planned to donate the property to Cal in her will — but her perspective shifted to the present with a little help from her friends. Shelly’s friends Barbara Jordan, Luella Lilly, and Joan Parker — some of the first women to experience the real effects of Title IX at Cal —are committed supporters of Cal student-athletes. They saw their support shape students’ futures in real time, and their stories made an impression on Shelly.
“I thought to myself, we ought to do this while we can still see the fruits of our labors.”
 
Her gift will support the performing arts and athletics at Berkeley, creating an endowed fund for theater, music, and dance, as well as an endowed women’s basketball scholarship. In addition, her gift will help create a new faculty fellowship fostering arts engagement opportunities for students. Shelly’s passion for the arts, her love of Cal, and a dash of inspiration from the sporting women in her life have come together to make a big difference for students. She hopes her story will strike a chord with other Cal alumni and friends. “I love all these things — and now I get to help,” she says. “I hope others will think, ‘I could do that too!’”
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