Passing of Jude Laspa, Scripps Parent and Cofounder of Laspa Center for Leadership

Jude Laspa and Eileen Laspa.

Jude Laspa, Scripps parent and cofounder of the Laspa Center for Leadership at Scripps College, passed away on December 29, 2023, at the age of 80. Jude earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering with honors from Harvey Mudd in 1965 and served on its board of trustees for 20 years. He is survived by his wife, Scripps alum and former Trustee Eileen Schock Laspa ’67, whom he met while they were students at The Claremont Colleges.

Jude filled several pivotal roles at the global engineering firm Bechtel during his 43 years with the firm; he also served on the board of the Exploratorium museum in San Francisco and was a member of the California Council on Science and Technology, among numerous other roles. Throughout his life, he was steadfast in his dedication to philanthropy and civic involvement, and the Laspas’ consistent commitment to serving their communities and to partnering with their alma maters has enabled the development of vital programs at both Scripps and Harvey Mudd.

This commitment was exemplified by their keystone gift of $5 million to Scripps College in 2013, which funded the establishment of the Scripps College Laspa Center for Leadership. The Laspa Center’s mission—helping Scripps students develop the skills and connections crucial to making change in the world—continues now as part of Jude’s extensive legacy. Through its core principles of leadership, creativity, integrity, and service, the center prepares young women leaders to pursue meaningful, fulfilling work. The Laspas have also generously supported scholarships to enable students with limited financial resources to attend Scripps College.

The College community extends its condolences to the Laspa family and affirms its enduring gratitude for Jude and Eileen’s support of Scripps. Jude is also survived by his daughters Darby Laspa Catalano ’95 and Erin Laspa Henry, and several grandchildren.