Longtime UCLA friend and philanthropic partner Royce Diener passed away May 23, 2017, at the age of 99. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Diener was a decorated World War II veteran of the United States Army Air Forces. He graduated from Harvard College, and following the war, he began a career in business, international finance and investment banking. He was best known as president and CEO of American Medical International from 1973 through his retirement in 1985. Among his many charitable endeavors, Diener helped shape and lead the Board of Advisors of Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, at the behest of former UCLA Chancellor Charles E. Young, and was instrumental in the creation of UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica and its orthopaedic center. Diener is survived by his wife Jennifer, who was a true partner to Diener in his endeavors and serves on the UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica Board of Advisors.
Longtime UCLA donor Fred Silton passed away on October 3, 2017, at the age of 94. He and his parents immigrated to the United States in 1938 and settled in St. Louis, Missouri. He served as a communications officer in World War II, and after the war, he followed his family to Los Angeles, where he worked in the family outerwear company, Silton Brothers, which under his leadership grew into a large national brand. In the 1980s, he transitioned to real estate development and investment and created an extensive portfolio of high-quality apartment buildings in the Westwood area. Despite Parkinson’s disease, he was actively involved in managing his portfolio until shortly before his death. According to his family, Silton was committed to honoring the less fortunate and contributed to multiple charities. At UCLA, his generosity included gifts to the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Longevity Center and the Department of Neurology, where he endowed the Fred Silton Family Chair in Movement Disorders. He also donated to UCLA’s performing arts programs and the Fowler Museum. He is survived by numerous children and grandchildren.
William L. Snelling, avid supporter of the UCLA Department of Neurology, died September 17, 2017 at the age of 86. Snelling was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and served in the United States Army. He earned both his BA and EMBA degrees from UCLA and his JD from Southwestern School of Law. Always working, he often said that he flunked retirement five times. Along with business partners, he had many successful ventures, including purchasing the Hotel del Coronado, founding the Community Bank of Santa Maria, serving as a founding partner and board member of IDB Communications in Los Angeles and, through a joint venture with a division of ITT, establishing Spaceport Systems, Inc., a company that operates a satellite-processing facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base. He is survived by his wife Phyllis, his older brother Don, four stepchildren and their spouses, and many other family members and friends.