Message From Chancellor Upon the Death of Leo S. Kolligian
Dear UC Merced Community and Friends,
It is with great sadness that I share with you that a great
friend and longtime supporter of the campus, Leo S. Kolligian, died
today at the age of 90. Leo leaves an enduring legacy that will
benefit future generations of UC Merced students.
An attorney and developer who graduated from California State
University, Fresno, and UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law, Leo
practiced law in Fresno for more than 50 years. He served as deputy
state attorney general under Robert Kenny and as a former chairman
of the UC Board of Regents. As chair, he championed the cause for
the first University of California campus in the San Joaquin Valley.
Leo and his first wife, Dottie, were asked to serve as the first
two members of the UC Merced Foundation Board of Trustees. In turn,
they persuaded other leaders throughout the San Joaquin Valley to
join this key advisory board of the UC Merced campus. The couple’s
devotion and contributions to the campus have been essential to the
university’s development. Dottie died in 2000.
In recognition of the Kolligians’ advocacy and support, one of
our first campus buildings, the Leo and Dottie Kolligian Library,
bears their name. Most notable in their legacy is the Kolligians’
lifelong commitment to educational and charitable causes and
activities. Leo and his second wife, June, were frequent visitors
to the campus and participated in my inauguration last fall.
Services for Leo will begin at 10 a.m. March 26, at St. Paul
Armenian Church, 3767 N. First St., in Fresno.
We regret the loss of such a loyal friend to our campus, and to
many of us personally. We offer our sympathies to his wife, June;
his son, Lee, who serves as a UC Merced Foundation Trustee; and
their family and friends.
Leo’s part in the building of UC Merced will always be remembered.