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Gift Helps LGBT Students

UC Riverside Fund Assists Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Students

Mother Wants to Help Students in Memory of Her Son

(March 15, 2004)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — A gift in memory of UCR alumnus Kayln Smith-Tranquil’son provides emergency assistance to UC Riverside students cut-off financially from their families because of their sexual orientation, gender, or work with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

The first person to receive financial support, this past fall, was a senior Sociology major. Tranqil Calley established The Kalyn Smith-Tranquil’son Memorial Fund in memory of her son who died of AIDS-related complications in 1994. He was an outspoken advocate for the LGBT community in the 1980s, when he was known as Colin Smith.

“Some students then, as now, were ostracized by their families after ‘coming out,’” said Calley. “UCR students often turned to him for support as they became more open about their sexual orientation. When Kalyn died, I felt that establishing a fund at UCR would help students through a particularly difficult period, and would be a fitting memorial to him. I am sure Kalyn is giving me a big ‘thumbs up’ from wherever he is. I’m happy that I am able to provide some help to these students.”

UC Riverside joins a handful of college campuses around the nation that offer emergency scholarships for LGBT people and their allies. “Almost every year, I learn of a student in financial difficulties because their families learn they are LGBT,” says Nancy Tubbs, director of UC Riverside’s LGBT Resource Center. “Sometimes parents refuse to help their children with the cost of their education, because they are upset when their son or daughter ‘comes out.’”

The UCR Financial Aid office will work with students who are permanently estranged from their parents, to declare the students financially “independent” through an appeals process. However, says Tubbs, the new scholarship provides immediate, emergency assistance so students may stay in school.

The fund is available to all current UCR students in good standing, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. “Sometimes straight allies who support the LGBT community come into conflict with their families over their community work,” says Tubbs. “The Tranquil’son fund could also assist those students.”

Contact the LGBT Resource Center, 787-2267, for more information about The Kalyn Smith-Tranquil’son Memorial Fund. The fund will continue to grow with additional donations. To make a donation, please contact Lisa Wilson, gifts administration, at (909) 787-3486.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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