Marianne and Abdelmonem Afifi: Rising to the Challenge

IT ALL STARTED AT A DISCO for Marianne and Abdelmonem Afifi. He was a young UCLA professor on sabbatical in Vienna, and she was a local out for a night on the town with friends.
“He asked me to dance. I love to dance!” she laughs. Nearly 40 years and countless dances later, they are happily married and pursuing their passions for travel, music, and the UCLA Library.
Despite being semi-retired, the pair remains quite active. Marianne was an associate dean at California State University, Northridge Library. Abdelmonem is a veteran of the UCLA faculty, first arriving to teach in 1965, serving as dean of the School of Public Health from 1985 until June 2000, and currently professor emeritus of biostatistics.
“We started giving because of my wife’s passion for the UCLA Library, but I soon realized the Library is a vital resource for me as a faculty member, too,” Abdelmonem notes. “Scholarship at UCLA is stronger because we have this Library available to us.”
While earning her master’s degree in librarianship from UCLA, Marianne was fueled by her passion for technology and her desire to help others. “Libraries have been at the forefront of technology for many years,” she remarks.
“I meet people who ask me why libraries are needed now that we have Google. Libraries are always there for you and shouldn’t be taken for granted,” Marianne explains. “In fact, the UCLA Library provides access to sophisticated software and digital resources, but students still rely on fundamental services like one-on-one research support from librarians to empower innovation and discovery on campus.”
As lifelong academics, their love of UCLA and libraries runs deep. The Afifis have supported the UCLA Library for 14 consecutive years with plans to support it for many more. They do so because they believe it is an invaluable resource to the campus and the community at large. Just as libraries are there for patrons who need them, loyal donors provide the Library with much-needed support and are there for us when we need them.