For the family of Shirley and Ralph Shapiro, longtime supporters of UCLA, a key philanthropic priority is to improve the lives of people with disabilities. The Shapiros’ recent gift of more than $2 million, which they donated with their children Alison and Peter Shapiro, will further this important work, funding endowed chairs in the UCLA Department of Pediatrics in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
“We are humbled by the generosity of the Shapiro Family and proud to continue collaborating with them to accelerate innovation in children’s health and improve the lives of children facing developmental and behavioral challenges,” said Dr. Sherin U. Devaskar, Mattel Executive Endowed Chair in Pediatrics and physician-in-chief of UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital. “The endowed chairs the Shapiros have funded will enable UCLA to recruit and retain faculty in the field and are testaments to the Shapiro family’s philanthropic leadership in providing enhanced care and services for individuals with disabilities.”
Through their more than 50 years of support, the Shapiros’ generosity has benefited numerous areas across the UCLA campus, including the Center for Cerebral Palsy at UCLA, which is one of few clinics nationally that cares for cerebral palsy patients throughout their lives. This gift builds upon one of the Shapiros’ existing chair endowments and will create three additional term chairs, which will benefit appointed faculty for five-year terms. The original Shapiro Family Term Chair in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and Cerebral Palsy, currently held by Assistant Clinical Professor Dr. Irene Koolwijk, strengthens teaching of the next generation of physicians and researchers. The Peter Shapiro Term Chair for Enhancing Children’s Developmental and Behavioral Health will support faculty leadership and advocacy activities.
The gift also will advance clinical care through the Alison Shapiro Term Chair for Children’s Cognitive Development and further research through the Ronald and Susan Cohen Term Chair in Childhood Development and Cerebral Palsy. The latter was funded through a partnership with the Shapiros and United Cerebral Palsy of Los Angeles to honor Ronald Cohen, who is retiring after more than 30 years as the United Cerebral Palsy of Los Angeles president and CEO.
“Society has a responsibility to care for the most vulnerable individuals and families,” said Peter Shapiro, president of the Shapiro Family Charitable Foundation, which he founded with his parents and sister. “Our partnership with UCLA empowers faculty and students with the knowledge to meet that need.”
Ralph Shapiro has served on many UCLA advisory councils, and he was a longtime member of The UCLA Foundation Board of Directors. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and his law degree from UCLA. Shirley, who received her bachelor’s degree from UCLA, serves on the boards of UCLA Women & Philanthropy, the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture and the Fowler Museum at UCLA.
For more information, contact Molly Moursi at: 310-267-1826