‘A thriving legacy’, LTCC’s Lisa Maloff University Center celebrate 5 years, honors ‘Angel of Tahoe’

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – In remembrance and honor of the “Angel of Tahoe,” Lake Tahoe Community College hosted a gathering to recognize Lisa Maloff. 

“Serendipitously, it’s been 5 years and one day from the day of ribbon cutting ceremony for the Lisa Maloff University Center and Lisa’s legacy is thriving, from the K9 truck to the Whittell High School, Boys and Girls Club, everywhere I go I see her impact, her fingerprints [of generosity],” said Jeff DeFranco, President, LTCC

The building was made possible by Maloff’s donation, and continues to offer the community a location for higher education. Partnerships with University of Mass. Global, Washington State and a third potential partner in the University of Idaho makes it possible for students to achieve their bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate level degrees at the center, as well as spaces available for event rentals.

Roberta Mason, a good friend of Lisa Maloff and another of the cornerstones to the LTCC’s foundation and elected trustee, has served with the college for 40 years, according to Executive Director, Foundation and College Advancement at Lake Tahoe Community College, Nancy Harrison. 

“Roberta tirelessly has dedicated her life,” Harrison expressed to the attendees, without Mason and Maloff there would be no LTCC. 

Mason reminisced of the first time meeting the Maloffs, Bob and Lisa, at her housewarming party after her husband Bob finished building their home. 

“Time marched on and LTCC was formed in 1974,” Mason said, “Lisa had been quoted saying she didn’t want to die with a check in her pocket and she had always been a strong supporter of education so when she asked me what does [LTCC] need, I was dumbfounded.”

President Kindred Murillo worked with Mason, local architects and staff to identify a list of projects in order of cost from lowest, a memorial bench for a few hundred all the way to the top, and a University Center for $5 million, according to Mason. 

Mason laughed and recalled how the “Angel of Tahoe” let her eyes sweep from the top of the list to the bottom rapidly and quickly decided to go for the gold. 

“The [building] is a physical testament to Maloffs generosity, she had a vision and she executed that vision,” said DeFranco 

Roberta Mason, Jeff DeFranco, Ricky Reich, Michelle Batista, Nancy Harrison, and Kimberly Burton
Ashleigh Goodwin / Tahoe Daily Tribune

The fruits of collective labor display an impressive 7,000-square-foot state of the art building with four flexible classrooms, an executive conference room all with the latest technology, including interactive displays, laser projectors, and motion sensing cameras.

“A lot of thought went into every element of the Lisa Maloff University Center, including its impact on our sensitive Lake Tahoe environment. That’s why it was important for us to create a building that is functional, eye-catching, and operationally clean,” LTCC’s website says, “The building uses state-of-the-art conservation construction to maximize energy efficiency, water conservation, indoor air quality standards, and sustainable building materials.”  

“Roberta Mason walked me right into LTCC to get me started on my educational journey,” Kimberly Burton, graduate of the university center and local to South Lake Tahoe said as she was graduating with her Associates the building was being opened.

Burton added, “There was no doubt in my mind I wanted to be one of the first students to walk out of there with a 4-year degree, I could never have had it if it weren’t for Lisa Maloff bringing a four year degree program right to my home town.”

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