Shelly Osborne ’61 has always loved and participated in the arts. As a child, she played the piano and attended the ballet, opera, and symphony with her mother. She has also supported many Bay Area arts organizations. Always a patron of her alma mater, Shelly recently took her support of the arts at Berkeley to a new level. Last year she donated a rental property to the university rather than waiting to bequeath it in her will.
“I thought to myself, ‘We ought to do this while we can still see the fruits of our labors.’”
Through this gift, she endowed a fund in music, theater, dance, and performance studies. So far, The Sheldeen G. Osborne Performing Arts Fund brought in nine artists in support of seven classes within the Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies Department. Shelly’s contribution also supported the Music Department’s choral and symphony programs by providing funds for promotion and equipment, while bringing in visiting artists to engage and inspire the students. And thanks to a match from the Mellon Foundation, she was also able to create The Sheldeen G. Osborne Faculty Fellowship, a permanent endowment to support a faculty member who fosters arts engagement opportunities for students. Shelly will soon be able to watch the seeds of her generosity grow — perhaps sitting in the audience at many a student performance — and know that she’s helped cultivate these young artists as they learn to inquire, express, and engage.