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The Crowd: Notables pay tribute to Segerstroms

January 19, 2011|By B.W. Cook
  • The Segerstrom family on stage at the Orange County Performing Arts Center's renaming ceremony to Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
The Segerstrom family on stage at the Orange County Performing… (Ryan Miller )

The story made front-page news in The Pilot last week. Other media outlets also picked it up. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary for The Orange County Performing Arts Center its board voted to rename the facility The Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

The honor pays homage to Orange County's pioneering Segerstrom family. Through five generations and a century of being connected to this community, the Segerstroms have led the growth of both business and culture, along with others, creating what is today one of America's most admired and in fact envied regions.

One man in particular has represented a vision of the highest American standards on behalf of his family's legacy. He is Henry T. Segerstrom, 87, managing partner of the family business that includes South Coast Plaza as well as major real estate holdings and interests in a multitude of endeavors. Over the past three decades, the Segerstrom family has donated in excess of $80 million in cash donations toward the creation of the arts center in Costa Mesa. That amount includes in excess of $60 million donated in cash by Henry Segerstrom himself. In addition, the 14 acres donated by the Segerstrom family upon which the center is built today is valued in the $70 million range.

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On Jan. 12, an ordinary Wednesday afternoon in Costa Mesa, a most extraordinary event unfolded on the center's campus. The event recognized the vision and the accomplishment of one man and, not to be diminished, other uber generous and equally dedicated and empowered members of the Segerstrom family. Most notable among them is Sandra Segerstrom Daniels, daughter of the late Hal and Jeanette Segerstrom, and one of the torch bearers of the family generation prepared to carry on the legacy into this new century.

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