Henry Ramsey Jr. (’60), a retired California Superior Court judge and former dean of Howard University School of Law, believes in giving big for the small stuff.

“The beginning of the semester when you have to buy books and groceries, that is a hard moment,” says Ramsey. “In the words of the business community, ‘It’s a cash flow problem.’ You need a bridge to get over a temporary rough spot.”

The Gift
Set up a decade ago, The Henry Ramsey Jr. Emergency Loan Fund — a revolving, no interest, short-term loan fund of $30,000 — is open to undergraduate students who are in good academic standing and are qualified to receive need-based financial aid. Students can borrow up to $1,000, which must be paid back in 30 days.

Since 1999, the fund has made 223 loans totaling $125,706.14, helping students to pay for books and groceries, rent and car repairs.

The Inspiration
“I couldn’t have gotten my higher education without emergency help for little things,” notes Ramsey. “I thought there would be others who would be in the same spot and need this kind of assistance.”

Ramsey had a rewarding moment a few years back when he spoke at UCR. Students who were helped by the Ramsey fund stopped by to say thanks. “It was very satisfying,” says Ramsey.

Ramsey’s time at UCR and his groundbreaking career are detailed in his autobiography, “The Life Story of Henry Ramsey Jr.,” which was published in January.