Room in CSUN’s Library Dedicated in Honor of Couple and Their Adventurous Spirit
(NORTHRIDGE, Calif., Nov. 23rd, 2010) ―
Adventurous, well-traveled, philanthropic, loyal , multilingual and passionate were just a few of the superlatives used by family and close friends to describe Jack and Florence Ferman ’63 (Art) at the dedication of the Oviatt Library Presentation Room last month.
Jack and Florence Ferman
The Fermans, who passed away several years ago, were longtime donors to Cal State Northridge. The couple committed approximately $2.5 million during their lifetimes and through their estate for the galleries, special collections and exhibition space in the Oviatt Library – the single largest monetary gift ever received by the library. The first part of the Fermans’ gift to the library was a $1 million anonymous transfer through a third-party intermediary in 2005. Then in 2010, when their estates settled, the CSUN Foundation received an additional $900,000. The Fermans’ final distribution will be received from their family foundation within the next several years.
“I had the pleasure of knowing this remarkable couple,” said Sue Curzon, dean of the library. “The Fermans had a passion for education and the arts. They have made the single largest monetary gift ever received by the library, which will help support our exhibits, galleries and operations of our special collections and archives.”
Larry Winningham, a partner in Winningham Becker and Company LLP, worked closely with Jack Ferman and his brother, Al, for more than 30 years in their real estate development business and served as trustee of the Fermans’ estate.
“Jack and Al Ferman were business partners who established a true legacy based on mutual respect,” said Winningham. “They were generous contributors to many charities.”
Several buildings developed by Jack and Al Ferman still exist in neighborhoods surrounding the campus.
“Jack and Florence had no children during their 70-year marriage but they played a big role in the lives of many young people,” said Julie Ferman, a niece of the couple. “It gives me true joy that my own son is a student here at Cal State Northridge, an institution that Jack and Florrie loved.”
Julie Ferman’s son, Alex is a freshman and aspiring music industry studies major.
Florence Ferman was a gifted artist with a strong sense of design. The Florence Ferman Collection, comprised of sculpture, ceramics and paintings which she created, is held by the library’s special collections. She was particularly known for her special ceramic glazes.
“The beauty and craftsmanship of Florence’s artwork uplifts us,” Curzon said. “Rotating pieces from the collection will be on permanent display next to the Jack and Florence Ferman Room.”
Jack Ferman, a licensed pilot, was remembered by his family for his superior driving skills,taking on the German autobahn well into his eighties.
“The Fermans recognized that the Oviatt Library represents the very core of the university’s academic goals,” said President Jolene Koester as she dedicated the Presentation Room in their honor. “Their generosity will help preserve the past and support the library’s future endeavors.”
Cal State Northridge’s Oviatt Library has more than 1.4 million volumes. It also subscribes to nearly 53,000 online journals, more than 2,300 print journals, more than 200 online databases and nearly 275,000 eBooks. It has an extensive audio and video collection, numbering nearly 18,000. The library’s online resources are heavily used, with almost 13 million visits to its Web pages and databases annually; and a yearly gate count of more than 1.6 million patrons. It also has an extensive collection of rare books, manuscripts, documents, photographs, artifacts and other archival materials. The Oviatt Library serves as the main research facility in the San Fernando Valley.