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Spring 2008

Walter Oppenheimer Leaves Important Legacy at UCLA

The Helga and Walter Oppenheimer Chair in Orthopaedic Oncology supports the work of Dr. Jeffrey Eckardt, known for his limb-salvage work with children and adults who have bone or soft-tissue cancer.

The Helga and Walter Oppenheimer Chair in Orthopaedic Oncology supports the work of Dr. Jeffrey Eckardt, known for his limb-salvage work with children and adults who have bone or soft-tissue cancer. Walter Oppenheimer was a man of many passions. He co-founded and ran a successful fashion business. He was a dedicated collector of modern art. And he was a committed philanthropist benefiting medicine and higher education.

Born in Berlin, Germany, Walter came to the U.S. in 1938, found work in the retail industry and married Helga, a budding fashion designer and fellow Berliner. Nine years later they launched Helga Inc., a line of women’s special-occasion clothing. On their travels throughout Europe in search of the finest fabrics, they began collecting modern art and, by the time they sold the business 40 years later, they had amassed a collection of European masters.

Walter had always been passionate about supporting education and was a strong believer in deferred gifts, which provided him a lifetime income. Before Helga’s death in 2003, they had arranged to support the Hammer Museum at UCLA through the establishment of two charitable gift annuities. Walter also gave generously to the medical sciences. Spurred by Helga’s personal health issues and the special care she received at UCLA, they created a deferred gift arrangement. The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery received the remainder interest in their Westwood condominium to fund the Helga and Walter Oppenheimer Chair in Orthopaedic Oncology, held by Jeffrey Eckardt, M.D.

The Oppenheimers also established two charitable gift annuities that now provide funds for student education at the School of Public Health. As Walter said shortly before his death, “I like the fact that the school trains professionals and scientists who work to benefit the health of all members of the community, not just individuals.”

Current Gift Annuity Payment Rates
Selected Rates for One Person

Age     Rate
   65       6.0%
70       6.5
75       7.1
80       8.0
85       9.5

Current rates for other ages available upon request

For more information, please call Devon Brown in the UCLA Office of Gift Planning at 1-800-737-8252





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