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PASSINGS : Alma Pearson

Major donor to university

November 29, 2008|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Alma Pearson, 96, a major donor to California Lutheran University projects including the library that bears her name at the Thousand Oaks campus, died Nov. 21 in Santa Barbara, the university announced.

Pearson and her husband, Clifford, made their first gift to the university in support of the new library in 1983. They continued to give to the university over the years, supporting the Alma and Clifford Pearson Endowed Scholarship, as well as the School of Education Leadership Program, Center for Leadership and Values, Early Childhood Development Center, Alumni Board Study Abroad Program and the development of athletic venues.

She was born in Chehalis, Wash., on April 12, 1912. Her father died when she was age 2, and as a result the family moved around a lot, living in Washington, Montana, California, Idaho and Utah. Her mother eventually owned a boarding house. Alma showed an early knack for business and negotiated property purchases for her mother.

She married Clifford Pearson in 1942 and the couple remained together until his death in 1999. Pearson said that because she and her husband did not have children of their own, they chose to adopt an entire university family.

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