Suzan & Terry Kramer ’82
“Our philanthropic priority is centered on the transformation of lives,” says Suzan Kramer. “Education transforms not only the lives of students, but also the lives of their families, communities and the next generation. This ripple effect is a true multiplier when you invest in education.”
Suzan and her husband, Terry Kramer ’82, maintain a core theme in their giving goals of supporting underserved and
financially challenged populations through scholarship opportunities. They worked with UCLA to create an endowed
scholarship for low-income, highly deserving students who would not otherwise be able to afford a UCLA education.
Sensing the urgency of this need, they also developed a current-use scholarship, which distributes a fixed amount each
year for the next five years in order to support students immediately while their endowed scholarship fund grows.
“We contribute to multiple organizations, but UCLA receives the largest share of our philanthropy,” says Terry. “Not only
because its vision and mission are something we strongly resonate with, but also because of the university’s proven
track record for carrying out that mission. UCLA truly moves the needle on what we care about most.”
Suzan, born in Japan, spent her early years in Turkey, went to school in the U.S. and then resided around the world,
having lived in countries including France, Holland and the United Kingdom. Her family moved to the U.S. early on for
one reason: education. It was natural, therefore, that her first exposure to UCLA was through the International Institute,
where she and Terry made a gift in support of providing students with financial need with global internship opportunities.
They view such international exposure as essential for career success in today’s globally connected world.
“Organizations are more global than ever but the divisions that separate us are too great,” says Terry. “Narrowing that
divide is a top priority. Otherwise, communities will continue to grow further apart and won’t be able to fully participate
in the spoils of the world economy. If we want a well-functioning planet and nation, we need to shift our perspectives
and start seeing the world through a much bigger lens.”
A Class of ’82 graduate, Terry recalls his years at UCLA as “an incredibly formative time for me.” Originally pre-med,
one of his early professors encouraged him to explore a course of study more closely aligned with his natural interests.
He pivoted to studying Economics, and this change in his life’s trajectory became a seminal event which laid the groundwork for a highly successful career in business leadership and technology, and ultimately public service and academia.
When reminded of his very first donation to UCLA of $50 in 1986, Terry smiles. “We can always find reasons to say ‘I can
wait to give’. If you believe in an organization’s mission, find a way to make it happen—whether it’s through volunteering
or making even a small donation. Give during your lifetime. You’ll then be able to witness the impact of your support
during your lifetime, and that will make you feel really, really good.”