University of California, Riverside

UCR Botanic Gardens

Kristine M. Scarano Memorial Endowed Fund for the Botanic Gardens

Kristine M. Scarano Memorial Endowed Fund for the Botanic Gardens



History of the Endowment Fund

Kristine Scarano had many jobs -- waitress, clerk and social worker -- before returning to earn her B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from UCR.  Her students benefited from her experience and her compassion as a re-entry student.  In February 1991, while teaching in the University's English Department and finishing work on her Ph.D., she succumbed to heart problems that had been diagnosed during her early childhood.  In June 1991, Kristine was awarded her Ph.D. posthumously.

In spite of her health problems, Kris was actively involved in addressing social and political problems.  She belonged to several organizations committed to peace and social justice.  She was a staunch supporter of women's rights and a staunch opponent of military involvement in the Middle East.  Kris' sister Kathryn said of her, "All her extraordinary passion for life - its fragility and rage - she will teach us".

In March 1991, the Scarano family established the Kristine M. Scarano Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund in English for undergraduates and graduates to honor the memory of their daughter and sister.  Scholarships were awarded annually to hardworking, dedicated, socially and politically conscious students; ultimately sixty-one scholarships were awarded.

Kris' retreat from the perpetually demanding academic and social activism spheres found rejuvenation in the Botanic Gardens.  This was her readily accessible refuge and renewal; her magical moments of Minnie Aumonier's "There is music among the trees in the garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it".  In observance of Kris' strong attraction to the Botanic Gardens her family requested the Kristine M. Scarano Memorial Endowed Fund for the Botanic Gardens be established in February 2011.

Purpose and Use of the Endowment Fund

The fund is administered by the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences.  This fund is to provide for the enhancement of the Botanic Gardens at the discretion of and under the direction of the Director of the Botanic Gardens.

Options for utilization of fund distributions may include:

  • Summer internships for UCR students in horticulture.
  • Construction and maintenance of ADA wheelchair paths.
  • Special projects for Gardens enhancement.
Success Story

Amy Kwiecien was the first student to receive an internship funded by the Kristine M. Scarano Memorial Endowed Fund for the Botanic Gardens in the summer of 2012.  Amy's work benefited the Gardens in many ways -- from hands-on planting and maintenance, to identifying plants and photographing the Gardens plant collections.  Amy used this photo collection as a source for creating and maintaining the Gardens Facebook page which has hundreds of Friends and followers!  The establishment of this fund demonstrates just how far a gift can go in growing our Gardens.


Please consider giving to this fund online at: give now



More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Botanic Gardens Information

Botanic Gardens Schneider House Office
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Tel: (951) 784-6962

Mailing Address:
Botanic Gardens
University of California
Riverside, CA 92521-0124