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When double Bruin Liz Harter ’72, MLS ’79 learned UCLA Library was looking for a matching donor for Stressbusters(opens in a new tab), a program that supports students’ mental health during finals week, she knew she wanted to contribute. A former Library student employee, Harter promptly offered a generous matching gift for the 2023 Library Blue & Gold Challenge.

Understanding the important role that managing stress can play in student success and wellbeing, Harter was drawn to the idea of helping students who were feeling anxious, particularly as finals week approached. Her $10,000 matching gift supercharged a program of relaxing activities, including guided meditations, massages, games, workshops and therapy dogs. The program also provides free snacks and coffee.

Harter’s pledge sparked a spectacular week of giving, as Bruin’s exceeded the Library’s goal, greatly expanding the impact of her gift. “Midway through the challenge, I was concerned that we would not reach our goal,” she said, “but after the final day to donate, when I learned that we had surpassed the goal, I was elated.”

As a student at UCLA, Harter navigated her way to the Library after her roommate found her a job at the University Research Library (now known as the Charles E. Young Research Library(opens in a new tab)). She immediately felt at home: “From the very beginning I realized that this was a place where I belonged, and my devotion to academic libraries began.”

Harter, who worked as a reference librarian for 36 years before retiring in 2018, said the community spirit surrounding her pledge represented the best of philanthropy. “The essence of giving is working with people for a common goal,” she said.

Harter recalls the Library as always looking to the future. As she sees the next generation of students push the boundaries of knowledge at UCLA, Harter’s loyalty “runs broad and deep,” she said. “As I have become able financially to support UCLA, it has been a pleasure and an honor to participate.”

Pledging a matching gift motivates other donors to join in giving, ensuring each gift has even greater impact in supporting UCLA. To sponsor a challenge gift please contact Library Development at in a new tab).