A decades-old friendship and her experience with a family member with intellectual disabilities catalyzed a gift from Claudia Huntington to the Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (CEDD) at the UC Davis MIND Institute. Huntington is senior vice president, portfolio manager and director of the Capital Research and Management Group in Los Angeles. She attended undergraduate school at Stanford University where, early on, she had four roommates. They would remain lifelong friends. One was Robin Hansen, who would become director of the CEDD and chief of the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics in the UC Davis School of Medicine”
"I’m very emotionally committed to the work that Robin has spent her life doing. I admire it. I think it’s really important. There are children and families whom Robin is helping enormously.” - Claudia Huntington”
Huntington is particularly committed to the crucial program her college friend leads at the MIND Institute. And there is another, also personal, reason for her gift with her husband, Marshall Miller.
“I have a half sister who is a good deal older than I who has intellectual disabilities, so I’m quite sensitive to the difficulties of living with a child with a disability. It’s so hard for families, and for the individual to have a good quality of life. “So when Robin asked me if I’d be interested in helping out, I said yes.”
Hansen said that her friends Claudia and Marshall’s philanthropic gift to the CEDD is emblematic of their generosity of spirit and commitment to helping others.
“Over the years, Claudia has been an important touchstone in my life, and her interest in my work has been a constant,” Hansen said. “This gift to support our work at the CEDD has special significance for us both and will help to create more opportunities for rich, inclusive lives for individuals with developmental disabilities.”
Housed at the MIND Institute, the Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities collaborates with individuals with developmental disabilities and their families to improve their quality of life and community inclusion through advocacy, community partnerships, interdisciplinary training, and the translation of research into practical applications. The center is one of 67 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) nationwide that support early intervention, health care, community-based services, inclusive and meaningful education, transition from school to work, employment, housing, assistive technology, and transportation, among other initiatives.