The Andelson Collection in the Ethnic and Gender Studies Collection (2nd floor) supports the teaching curriculum and research interests of faculty and students in gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender studies in all disciplines. The collection is named in honor of Sheldon Andelson who was the first openly gay member of the University of California Board of Regents. In describing Andelson, the Los Angeles Times called him a "Democratic heavyweight once regarded as the nation's most influential gay political figure" (12/30/87).
Andelson was born in Boyle Heights, at the time a Jewish enclave of Los Angeles, and went on to have a lucrative career in law and real estate. "The story of Shelly Andelson is the story of America at its best," U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) said in a 1984 speech presenting Andelson with a major honor from the American Jewish Committee.
Governor Jerry Brown nominated Andelson for the Regents post, traditionally one of the most prestigious that a governor of California has the power to fill. Andelson survived a nasty confirmation battle and served as University of California Regent from 1980-1986. He was also a member of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, a founder of the Museum of Contemporary Art, founder and chairman of the Bank of Los Angeles, director of the ACLU Foundation, and member of a committee of the 1984 Olympic Games held in Los Angeles. Andelson died from complications of AIDS in 1987 at the age of 56.