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Changing Lives With the Gift of Education

JenkinsMatthew Jenkins was busy with three careers. The first was the thriving veterinary practice he sold in the late 1970s. The second was the real estate and property management company he and his wife, Roberta, founded afterward. But in the past three decades of his life, Matthew focused on a different passion: university philanthropy.

He credited his success to an upbringing that emphasized hard work, discipline, and setting goals.

"That's who we are; we help other people," Matthew said. "We give, we share. It's part of our heritage."

Mr. Jenkins passed away in 2019. He was 85.

Matthew and Roberta proudly served as Claremont Graduate University supporters for nearly 30 years. In 1984, they established the Matthew and Roberta Jenkins Family Fellowship, which provides scholarships for African American students attending CGU and other universities.

Encouraged by then-CGU President John D. Maguire, a civil rights activist and former colleague of Martin Luther King, Jr., Matthew went on to serve on CGU's board of trustees from 1989 to 2006 before serving as an Emeriti Trustee. Roberta served on the School of Educational Studies' (SES) board of advisors.

The couple also helped launch the Claremont Long Beach Math Collaborative, a partnership with other institutions that provides math education for underserved African American high school students. In addition, they were the largest contributors to the Black Scholars Award, founded last year by SES doctoral student Calista Kelly.

For Matthew, supporting CGU and education was simply the right thing to do.

"I think you increase the value of your own life when you share with others," he said.

Create Your CGU Legacy

Contact Claremont Graduate University at (909) 621-8027 or to discover ways you can make a lasting impact for students.