With his support of literally dozens of organizations including the Boy Scouts, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, local arts, and educational and medical institutions, it’s impossible to measure the magnitude of Don Kennedy’s investment in Santa Ana, Orange County, and beyond.
Kennedy, whose wife, Dorothy, is a celebrated artist in her own right, was a generous and longtime supporter of the arts, particularly in Orange County, Calif., where he donated countless hours and considerable financial support to the performing arts and several museums, including Bowers Museum of Cultural Art in Santa Ana, Calif., where he served on the board of governors for many years.
During his tenure with Bowers, he was instrumental in negotiating the museum’s partnerships with the Smithsonian and British Museum, and his concept for and contribution to the museum’s North Wing tripled the size of its exhibit space.
Kennedy was also committed to expanding educational opportunities in Orange County. A trustee and benefactor of Chapman University since 1988, he served as vice chairman of the board of trustees and as chairman of the University’s Athletic Committee. His countless contributions in helping the small, private college in Orange, Calif., become a university that is now ranked in the top tier of Western regional universities were recognized in 1999 with the dedication of Donald P. Kennedy Hall, a state-of-the-art teaching facility and home of the university’s School of Law. “[Don Kennedy’s] aspirations for the new law school motivated us all to dream of bolder possibilities for the new institution, and challenged us to establish high standards of quality for its faculty, students, curriculum, and library,” Dr. James L. Doti, Chapman’s president, wrote at the time of the dedication. “Therefore, it is altogether fitting and proper that the new law building bear the name of one who epitomizes the best of the legal profession.”
Kennedy firmly believed that it is everyone's responsibility, both individually and collectively, to make our surrounding communities better places to live, and his many contributions ensure a lasting legacy toward that end.
Following is a partial list of the many organizations Kennedy supported over the years:
- Bowers Museum of Cultural Art
- Chapman University
- Golden Eagle Boy Scouts of America
- Health Care Foundation of Orange County
- The Lincoln Club
- MIND Research Institute
- Orange County Business Committee for the Arts
- Orange County Community Foundation
- Santa Ana Country Club
- Santa Ana-Tustin Community Chest
- South Coast Repertory
- Stanford University
- Tiger Woods Foundation