A field of pink/purple flowers on a sunny day stand in front of a blurred background of similar purples/pinks and greenery.

Stan Shayer and Jeffrey Romano

Stan Shayer and Jeffrey Romano

Every gift to The Huntington makes a difference, enabling individuals to connect with the humanities, nature, and one another. Stan Shayer and Jeffrey Romano are longtime members of The Huntington community. Here, Stan discusses their love of the institution’s awe-inspiring collections, programs, and gardens, and how their values align with the institution’s mission.

Tell us a bit about your Huntington story.
Growing up and having our careers in the San Francisco Bay Area, we were not aware of The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. Then one Christmas, Jeffrey’s mother, Jewell, gifted him with a Huntington desk calendar. We added The Huntington to our list of places to visit, and soon thereafter made a trip to Southern California. The Huntington immediately captured a special place in our hearts, especially the gardens and spectacular Rose Garden. We became members shortly after our initial visit.

You have become more involved over the years, including joining the Arabella and Henry Huntington Heritage Society and the Society of Fellows, and making a gift to the Rose Garden Tea Room renovation project. Why?
Recognizing the importance and invaluable research and collections that The Huntington provides, and its beautiful, tranquil, and peaceful gardens, has guided our decision to become more involved. By relocating to Santa Monica after we both retired from our careers at Chevron Corporation, we now can visit and appreciate The Huntington throughout the year—and experience the change in seasons in the gardens. Another significant reason we have become more engaged with The Huntington are the relationships we developed with the Society of Fellows directors, the late Judy Plunkett and current director Pamela Hearn. Judy invited us to The Huntington’s first “An Evening Among the Roses” [The Huntington’s annual event recognizing and celebrating the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community] in 2014. This is where we had the pleasure to meet Cris Lutz, assistant vice president of gift planning.

We are delighted you have included The Huntington in your estate plans, which will provide future support for the institution’s educational mission. What compelled you to make this thoughtful commitment?
It is critical to provide resources for the preservation and maintenance of The Huntington’s collections and gardens for future generations. In today’s fast-paced and instant environment, it is more important than ever to pause and reflect in nature. The Huntington offers a perfect place to pause, reflect, and reset. We made the decision to add The Huntington to our estate plans in 2014 to help support and preserve these efforts.

What do you tell others about The Huntington?
To us, the gardens are one of the most spectacular places we have had the pleasure to visit. You can get lost among the ferns and cycads, relax in the Jungle Garden, take in the visual beauty and scent of the roses, experience the tranquility of the Japanese and Chinese gardens, and enjoy the dynamic nature of the desert—all in one afternoon! And that is only the garden!

Gifts of all sizes, including from one’s estate, help ensure that The Huntington’s collections and programs continue to engage and captivate the next generations of scholars, students, and visitors. If you have questions about naming The Huntington as a beneficiary of your estate, please contact Cris Lutz, assistant vice president of gift planning, at 626-405-2212 or clutz@huntington.org. If you have already included The Huntington in your estate plan, we would like to thank you for your generosity by welcoming you to the Arabella and Henry Huntington Heritage Society.