Paulina June Pollak papers
The collection contains Paulina June Pollak's personal and professional records, documents, photographs, family geneaology, personal book collection, and awards.
- 1900 - 2021
Biographical / Historical
During her lifetime, Paulina June Salz Pollak believed the library was the intellectual heart of the university and committed her resources to ensuring Cal State Fullerton’s would remain a keystone of learning for generations to come.
The professor emeritus of English and comparative literature, who taught on campus for 33 years, died June 26 at the age of 94.
Together with her late husband George, Pollak donated a total of $1.3 million to the university. A $1 million gift in 1998, the largest in the university’s history from a faculty or emeritus member, was used to create the library’s first collection endowment. The couple also is credited with making the first planned gift to the “It’s Our University” philanthropic campaign. In recognition of their many contributions to the university, the library was officially named “The Paulina June and George Pollak Library” in October 1998. An exhibit space at the library’s south first floor entrance, the “Salz-Pollak Atrium Gallery,” bears the couple’s name, as does the “Salz-Pollak Salon,” an exhibition space located on the second floor of the library’s north side.
The daughter of Polish entrepreneur Victor Salz and Pennsylvanian school teacher Florence Swartz, Pollak was born in San Francisco and raised in the Los Angeles area. She majored in both music and English at the University of Southern California, before continuing on to achieve her master’s and doctorate degrees in English at the same institution. Her studies centered on the modern (pre-1950) British, French and German novel; and she also discovered an interest in Milton and English drama. During her long and notable teaching career as a founding faculty member of Cal State Fullerton, these became her areas of specialty.
Pollak joined the English and Comparative Literature Department in 1961, became a full professor in 1968, retired and received emeritus status in 1990 after 29 years of service, and continued to teach for another four years at Cal State Fullerton. Her campus and community accomplishments included serving as chair of the Faculty Council (now Academic Senate); president of the CSUF chapters of the American Association of University Professors and the Association of California State University Professors; and founding president of the Congress of Faculty Associations.
Even after her retirement, Pollak remained an active volunteer, serving on the statewide Cal State University Emeriti and Retired Faculty Association Council, and as president of both the Emeriti of CSUF and Patrons of the Library. Emily Miller Bonney, professor of liberal studies and dean of the Pollak Library, said Pollak was a key promoter of scholarly discourse on the campus. This is embodied by the Salz-Pollak Salon, a space is dedicated to faculty conversation and interaction. “She was a spirited member of the board of the Patrons of the Library, and her incisive and often witty contributions to the discussions helped shape Patrons’ policies,” Miller Bonney said. “We will miss her bright presence at Patrons board meetings.”
Additionally, the Pollaks in 1992 donated a family townhouse in Laguna Hills valued at more than $165,000. Its sale proceeds were designated for endowments supporting the library and scholarships in the Department of English, Comparative Literature and Linguistics. The Pollaks were recognized as Volunteers of the Year in 1996 and as “Gold Legacy” honorees at the 2007 Legends and Legacies Gala.
Self-described bibliophiles and knowledge-seekers, the Pollaks enjoyed reading nonfiction, researching genealogy and traveling to different regions of the world. They are remembered for their generosity, passion for learning and forward-thinking vision of the university’s future.
Source: CSUF News. "In Memoriam – June Pollak", June 29, 2021. Accessed on 10/04/2021:http://news.fullerton.edu/2021/06/in-memoriam-june-pollak.
1 manuscript box
Language of Materials
Aisle 14B--Shelves 7-8
The papers were received in a large suitcase and are in fair to good condition.
- Paulina June Pollak papers
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Part of the CSUF University Archives & Special Collections Repository
University Archives & Special Collections
Pollak Library South Room 352 (PLS 352)
Fullerton CA 92831-3599 USA