The Ben Culley Society

In 1943, Occidental College hired Benjamin H. Culley as a mathematics professor who later became Dean of Men and Director of Financial Aid. He was famous for knowing the names and backgrounds of students even before he met them and supporting many students financially by giving out personal loans. Because of his dedication, Dean Culley was well loved by Oxy alumni and friends who remember him as an outstanding teacher, mentor, and friend. In his thirty nine years at The College, Dean Culley had a profound impact on countless students that has persisted beyond his lifetime. At his passing, Dean Culley made a generous gift in his will to Occidental. To this day, his endowed gift continues to support programs in the performing arts.

In honor of Dean Culley's legacy, the Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to establish the Ben Culley Society in 1994. The Ben Culley Society recognizes and celebrates individuals who, like Dean Culley, have created an Oxy legacy. Legacy gifts such as bequests, gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, and retained life estates help ensure the future of Occidental. When Oxy celebrated the Ben Culley Society's 20th Anniversary, Oxy had received $63 million in realized bequests and anticipated over $38 million in known bequests. In addition, The College had also received close to $40 million through life income gifts. These life income gifts established scholarships such as the Alice Stebbins Wells Endowed Award fund for women seeking careers in community service or who are active in some form of community service. Gifts also supported various academic programs and professorships such as the John Parke Young Chair in Global Political Economy -- currently occupied by Professor Sanjeev Khagram. Though some gifts are specifically designated, many members choose to leave their gift unrestricted. This allows the College the flexibility to use the funds where they are needed most whether it is for library acquisitions or student research. All gifts from Ben Culley Society members are vital to the ongoing success of Occidental College in providing the highest quality educational experience.

We hope that you consider joining this loyal group of Oxy supporters. The Society boasts over 1000 alumni and friends dedicated to Occidental's future. Every year, special events are held on and off campus to honor those who have chosen to benefit Oxy beyond their lifetime. Past events took place at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Autry Museum, and the Huntington Gardens.

Consider the ways in which you can leave an Oxy legacy to support the future of Occidental's mission and impact generations of students to come. All gifts, large or small, for programs, professorships, scholarships, or scoreboards, support our students.

Are you interested in joining The Ben Culley Society? Click here to download our Legacy Intention Form.


"We believe that Oxy students become great leaders, thinkers and changemakers because of the transformative experience at Occidental. Growing the endowment through planned gifts will ensure that generations of Oxy students continue to make a positive impact on the world."

--Gil Kemp P'04
Trustee and Campaign
Steering Committee Co-chair

--Barbara Gibby '68 and
Dr. Michael G. Gibby '68


"Once I heard about the Campaign, I knew that it was important to be part of it. I am delighted to commit to my legacy gift because Oxy gave me the foundation to do positive things in life. The College continues to provide that opportunity for today's students and should have the support to play that role indefinitely."

--Gloria Duffy '75
Trustee and Campaign Steering Committee member