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Melanie Lundquist
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Melanie Lundquist is one of the leading philanthropists in Southern California, where she gives her support to various education and health care initiatives. Most notable among her philanthropic activities is her generous support of the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. The Lundquists’ $50 Million gift to the Partnership is the largest private donation ever made to Los Angeles schools.

Mrs. Lundquist and her husband Richard own the Continental Development Corporation which has developed and manages 4 million square feet of premium office, research and development, commercial, retail, restaurant and entertainment properties, including the Intercontinental Hotel in San Francisco, the 30 acre Sky-Park medical Facility in Torrance, CA; and various upscale shopping plazas around Southern California.

Mrs. Lundquist is a founding member of the Board of the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, past chair of the Advisory Board for Teach for America, and is co-chair of a $165 million capital campaign for the California Science Center. In addition, she is a significant donor to the Alliance for College-Ready Schools, a Los Angeles charter organization. She also lends her support to the Fulfillment Fund's endowment fund for college scholarships, and has taken active roles in Inner City Arts, United Friends of the Children, and Alliance for Children's Rights, among others. She established the Cardiovascular Institute at the Torrance Memorial Medical Center where she emphasizes women’s heart health.

Mrs. Lundquist and her husband Richard are graduates of Los Angeles public schools where, as she told Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez, "I got a wonderful education, and there are 50 teachers I could name right now who were some of my best friends, and even after I graduated, they continued to be friends." She says her public school teachers were some of the most influential people in her life.

Mrs. Lundquist is also a graduate of the University of Southern California, from which she holds both a BA and MA in Speech Pathology and Audiology.

Melanie Lundquist comes from a family of individual philanthropists. Her grandfather, a migrant to this country, became a successful business owner and was a member of the Los Angeles Merchants Association, the group that founded what would later become the City of Hope. Her mother raised funds to establish a dental clinic for impoverished children in Los Angeles in the 1920s when she was a student at U.S.C.

Entries by Melanie Lundquist

When Many Speak as One, Anything Can Change

(6) Comments | Posted September 19, 2014 | 3:46 PM

News of gun violence flashes across our screens daily and America's answer is to make guns easier to get, conceal and carry everywhere, from public schools to McDonald's. We're told, and many of us believe, we need even more guns to make us safer although Americans already own half of...

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Groundhog Day Meets California Schools

(0) Comments | Posted May 5, 2014 | 6:31 PM

"What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?" This was the question Bill Murray's character in the movie Groundhog Day asked as he woke up to the exact same reality, day after day. That...

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The Education of Marshall Tuck and the Making of a Run for California's Chief Education Office

(0) Comments | Posted January 28, 2014 | 4:56 PM

I knew something was up by the tone of Marshall's voice. He was unusually serious and vague about why he wanted to see me.

Marshall Tuck was the CEO of one of the largest school turnaround efforts in the nation, a non-profit called the Partnership for LA Schools, serving 15,000...

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Like Everything About LA, Being Education Mayor Is Different

(3) Comments | Posted November 5, 2012 | 9:26 AM

Co-written with Patrick Sinclair, Senior Director, Communications and External Affairs
Partnership for Los Angeles Schools

It's been almost eight years since Antonio Villaraigosa moved into LA City Hall and announced fixing the public schools would be a hallmark of his administration -- even though he had no formal control...

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Why Is It So Hard to Do the Right Thing?

(5) Comments | Posted August 2, 2012 | 10:40 AM

By Melanie Lundquist
Philanthropist & Civic Activist
Patrick Sinclair
Senior Director, Communications and External Affairs
Partnership for Los Angeles Schools

I never thought I'd put John Roberts, Rodney King and the California Assembly in the same thought, but that's what happened last month when...

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Planting Hope With the Children of Watts: Philanthropy With Immediate Impact

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2012 | 12:58 PM

No one seemed to know why five giant concrete rings had been built into the middle of the playground, but there they stood: chipped and cracking, eight feet in diameter, rising about six inches from the blacktop. Three of the rings were filled with dirt and weeds while someone had...

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What If Education Reformers Focused on Just One School District?

(43) Comments | Posted December 8, 2011 | 6:10 PM

Co-authored by Melanie Lundquist, Philanthropist & Civic Activist, and Patrick Sinclair, Senior Director of Communications and External Affairs, Partnership for Los Angeles Schools.

You'd think nearly $4 billion would be enough to have a decisive impact on most things. That's how much philanthropy gives each year to improve...

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Pushing Our Impulse to Give Just A Little More

(0) Comments | Posted August 16, 2011 | 8:10 PM

By Melanie Lundquist, Philanthropist & Civic Activist, and Patrick Sinclair, Communications Director, Partnership for Los Angeles Schools

We Americans share many blessings, among them a penchant for helping those in need, so much so that our nation's private foundations now command more than a half a trillion dollars...

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Time to Change the Way We Give

(8) Comments | Posted June 29, 2011 | 12:47 PM

Wake up wealthy Americans! It's time to rethink how you give away your money.

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett deserve a lot of credit for pushing America's wealthy to give away more of their income, but there clearly needs to be an equal push to get the nation's moneyed...

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