Dini Ostrov was a graduate of UCLA in French history and was one of the university's most ardent and creative philanthropists. Since her days as an editor of the Daily Bruin, Ms. Ostrov's love for words and the classical aesthetic were the èlan vital of her work in design and her philanthropic leadership at UCLA. Ms. Ostrov was a founding member of Women and Philanthropy at UCLA and the UCLA Film and Television Archive Council. She served on the UCLA Foundation Board of Directors and Board of Governors, the boards of the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts and the Clark Library, and was an active member of Gold Shield Alumnae of UCLA. She donated many works of art to UCLA, including a pre-Columbian art collection to the Fowler Museum. For Ms. Ostrov, film preservation was a passion. Together with her husband, Les, also a distinguished UCLA alumnus, she funded restoration and preservation of several classic works by Howard Hawks and George Cukor. In addition, she established the Reel Spirit: Dini Ostrov Awards in Screenwriting, Directing, and Archive Studies. With this support, her intention was to ensure the survival of films that enrich viewers through witty and imaginative writing.
The Dini Ostrov Endowed Collection in French Letters, Language, and Architecture reflects Ms. Ostrov's lifelong commitment to language and the arts and her love of French culture. The collection contains books, manuscripts, and periodicals on the subjects of French language, literature, social history, and architecture from 1625 to 1930. These texts are chosen because they embody the quintessential French sensibilities of quick and clever wit, eloquence, and beauty, and they include works by women chroniclers of social history. Taken from Ms. Ostrov's own collection of contemporary art by Guy Toubon, the bookplate appropriately depicts the beautiful seventeenth-century l'Institut de France, currently inhabited by the guardians of the French language.