Loretta Sanchez ’82, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1997 to 2017, has donated her congressional papers to Chapman University’s Leatherby Libraries.
The collection includes 25 boxes of her files, papers and committee work, mostly focused on Vietnamese human rights, her work with the House Committee on Homeland Security, the voter investigation into the 1996 election she won against Republican incumbent Bob Dornan and materials related to her legislation on sexual assault in the military.
The donation continues Sanchez’s dedication to her alma mater – she is a trustee and regular lecturer – and includes materials that will be vital to generations of Chapman students and scholars, said Charlene Baldwin, dean of the Leatherby Libraries. Moreover, the papers join the library’s growing collections related to California and Orange County, which Sanchez represented.
At Chapman, Sanchez studied with President Emeritus Jim Doti and earned a degree in economics. During her House tenure, she was a tenacious advocate for allowing women to serve in combat. In addition, she fought cuts to Head Start, the same development program for children and families that she herself benefited from as a shy preschooler. Sanchez ran for the U.S. Senate in 2016 but was defeated by former California Attorney General Kamala Harris.