On Dec. 2, Women of Chapman, a vibrant group of philanthropic-minded women strongly dedicated to a program of service to Chapman University, hosted their 37th Annual Christmas at the Ritz event, which raised approximately $300,000 to support Chapman.
“We are so delighted to have had such a great turnout for our 37th Annual Christmas at the Ritz!” said Sheri Nazaroff, Women of Chapman president. “For more than 50 years, Women of Chapman have supported Chapman University and its students, donating close to $10 million.”
Money raised at this year’s Christmas at the Ritz event funds multiple projects that Women of Chapman support, including the Women of Chapman Student Hardship Assistance Fund, which provides flexible resources to help respond to the needs of individual students facing immediate and unexpected financial hardship. Hardships can include expenses related to housing, food, transportation, technology, medical bills and getting home during a family crisis.
“This year’s Christmas at the Ritz event was everything we could have hoped,” said event chair Lisa Hallaian. “Our incredible community of women did what we have been doing for decades — inspiring excellence and transforming the lives of Chapman students.”
In recent years, Women of Chapman has also contributed to Chapman’s CU Safely Back Fund; underwritten a portion of the prestigious Provost’s Arts and Lecture Series, providing free tickets to students; and Dodge College’s Women of Chapman Distinguished Artist Series.
Other notable gifts from Women of Chapman have included:
- Women of Chapman Endowed Student Filmmaker Fund, which supports senior film projects for students in Dodge College of Film and Media Arts
- Women of Chapman Central Park at the Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus (coming soon)
- Women of Chapman Gallery of Science in the Keck Center of Science and Engineering
- Women of Chapman Stage in the Marybelle and Sebastian P. Musco Center for the Arts
- Women of Chapman Grand Foyer in the Digital Media Arts Center
- The Fashionable Women of Chapman Rotunda Boardroom and Terrace in Marion Knott Studios
- The Fashionables Courtyard and Sacred Mound Garden in the Fish Interfaith Center
- The Fashionables Terrace in the Leatherby Libraries
- Dr. Albert Schweitzer public exhibit in Argyros Forum
- Scholarship support over the years to World Campus Afloat/Semester at Sea and later to Chapman’s general scholarship fund
“The generosity of Women of Chapman is incredible, and we are grateful for their contributions each year,” said Matt Parlow, executive vice president and chief advancement officer.
Christmas at The Ritz is Women of Chapman’s premier and sole fundraising event and has been an Orange County tradition since 1986. This glamorous and festive holiday luncheon was previously held each December at The Ritz Restaurant in Newport Beach until its closure. A highlight of the event each year is the opportunity drawing, with prizes valued in the thousands of dollars. Opportunity prizes are generously donated by some top OC boutiques, jewelers and vendors, including South Coast Plaza, Lugano Diamonds, Neiman Marcus and many more.