Create a Lasting Legacy by Supporting the Future of USC Pacific Asia Museum!

March 19, 2015

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USC Pacific Asia Museum is delighted to be hosting a Heritage Society event on Thursday, March 26 from 4-5:30pm in the auditorium of the museum. The event is open to anyone who is already a member of the Heritage Society or is thinking about making a legacy gift to the museum as part of their estate plan. Join fellow Heritage Society members in learning about future plans for the museum and hearing from special museum friends who are planning to leave their legacy at USC Pacific Asia Museum.

USC Pacific Asia Museum is dedicated to advancing intercultural understanding through the arts of Asia and the Pacific Islands. In today’s increasingly global world, this mission has evolved from a noble ideal into a pragmatic necessity, and USC Pacific Asia Museum is uniquely positioned to help Southern Californians of all ages and cultural backgrounds thrive in the 21st century.

All of the museum’s core activities require considerable financial support. Some of this financial support can be raised annually through earned income, membership dues, individual donations, special events and grants from government agencies, private foundations and corporate sponsors. But to ensure long-term operational stability, USC Pacific Asia Museum must maintain and grow its endowment, the income from which provides an important financial base for the museum’s mission.

More about the Heritage Society

The Heritage Society is open to anyone who intends to make a planned gift of any size to the museum, either as part of an estate arrangement or a living trust arrangement. Unless otherwise specified by the donor, all gifts made through the Heritage Society are directed into the museum’s permanently restricted endowment. USC Pacific Asia Museum is committed to protecting the principal of that endowment and allow it to grow by limiting the earned income that can be drawn from it. As the value of the endowment increases through gifts and investment returns, the amount of revenue it generates also increases and the better it is able to support the museum’s core activities.

Joining the Heritage Society is easy and requires no up-front contributions. Simply tell the museum staff that you have made, or want to make, a planned gift to USC Pacific Asia Museum, and we will enroll you in the society. If you wish to designate your gift to support a particular area or activity at the museum, we will be happy to work with you on those arrangements.

Heritage Society members receive regular updates on happenings at USC Pacific Asia Museum through automatic subscriptions to the museum’s bi-monthly e-news bulletins, quarterly newsletters and annual report. Members are also honored a special annual reception and are publicly recognized in the museum and in museum publications.

Gifts made through the Heritage Society are vital for securing the future of USC Pacific Asia Museum, and members of the society can enjoy the knowledge that their generosity will continue to enrich the experience of museum visitors for many generations to come.  If you would like to attend the Heritage Society event, RSVP to Nadiya Conner at or call (626) 449-2742 x 16. See you there!



March 4, 2015

Osmanthus tree, the new addition to the garden and a special gift to the museum from USC.

Osmanthus tree, the new addition to the garden and a special gift to the museum from USC.

The present day garden in the courtyard of the USC Pacific Asia Museum was first laid out in 1978. It remains close to the original plan except for some plant changes that occurred at the time the north side of the courtyard was torn up for a repair project in 2005. In early 2011, the gardener was laid off to cut expenses. In response, our Operations officer and myself, as a museum trustee and member of the Building and Grounds committee, along with a group of docents formed a volunteer group to maintain the garden until the museum could hire another gardener to take over. The group was mentored by docent Darlene Kelly, who holds a Master Gardener certificate and was employed at the Los Angeles County Arboretum for a number of years. During the two and a half years the volunteer group maintained the garden, we suffered the worst drought in California’s history along with a record breaking hot summer of 2013, A few plants were lost and the koi in the pond died from causes that were never able to be determined (they don’t like too much heat). Since then, the pond has been restocked and the new fish are doing well, and the garden is flourishing again with a regular gardener that now comes every Monday morning and is paid for by the museum. A few months ago, the garden received a new pine tree from Georgie Erskine, and more recently received a new Osmanthus tree as a gift from USC. The USC Arborist came to plant both last month.

As for me, I have been a member and supporter of this museum for about 24 years, serving as president of the Japanese Arts Council, trustee for three years, chairperson of the Building and Grounds Committee, and volunteer gardener. My background includes an engineering degree and career and a Masters degree in Asian Studies. I hope to continue supporting the museum for years to come.

Richard Suran working in the courtyard garden at USC PAM.

Richard Suran working in the courtyard garden at USC PAM.