CSULB philanthropist, arts enthusiast dies at age 80

Nini Horn, avid arts enthusiast and wife of the late Congressman Steve Horn, died on Tuesday, at the age of 80.

Horn died at the Long Beach Memorial Medical Center after a 16-year battle with breast cancer, according to her son, Steve Horn Jr.

A celebration of her life will be held at a later date.

“It is, indeed, a great loss,” Cal State Long Beach President F. King Alexander said.

Nini Horn grew up in Lodi, Calif., and graduated from Stanford University with distinction in history and humanities in 1953, and received a certificate from the Program in Business Administration of Radcliffe College/Harvard Business School in 1954.

She was a great supporter of the arts and played a major role at CSULB.

“She played piano and enjoyed the arts very much,” Horn Jr. said. “Sheknew how important they were to a thriving university.”

In 2003, the university honored Nini Horn’s role at CSULB and in the community when the North Campus Library was renamed the Steve and Nini Horn Center by the Trustees of the California State University.

The Horn Center is located near the University Art Museum on the north side of campus.

“You can never underestimate the impact she has had at CSULB,” Alexander said. “Our college and students are in a better place because of her impact.”

When her husband, Steve Horn, became president of CSULB in 1970, Nini became a vital member of education and the arts.

She was integral in cultivating many major gifts. These include the Isabel Patterson Child Development Center, the International House, the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden, the Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theater and the president’s home.

She was also very active with the Fine Arts Affiliates and the International Community Council.

Her passion stretched beyond education and the arts and into the community.

In 1979, as a chair of the Long Beach Unified School District’s 100-member committee, Nini Horn proposed desegregation guidelines and the magnet school plan.

For the next 10 years, she served on the LBUSD Personnel Commission.

“She was very involved in the community,” Horn Jr. said. “She was a wonderful person who people instantly liked.”

Her thoughtfulness, energy, integrity, good humor and organizational ability charmed and galvanized hundreds of friends in each chapter of her life.

She was president of Long Beach’s Public Corporation for the Arts and was the leader in the effort that persuaded the city council to provide funds through the arts council for the Long Beach arts organizations in 1984.

She also served on boards of the California Community Foundation, the Greater Long Beach Community Foundation, Family Service of Long Beach and the Todd Cancer Institute at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center.

Aside from having her hand in community affairs, her role in her husband’s political career was also critical.

Her friends represented most of the volunteers that powered an all-volunteer campaign that won five elections.

She is survived by her son Steve Horn Jr. of Long Beach, daughter Marcia Horn of Phoenix and grandson Jonathan Horn, also of Phoenix.

The family suggests that, in lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Nini Horn’s honor to any of the three organizations she supported strongly, including CSULB College of the Arts, The Long Beach Community Foundation and the Todd Cancer Institute.


One Comment

  1. Daily_49er_reader

    You doofuses messed up again! In the print version of today’s Daily 49er, above Nina Horn’s picture, it says she was born in 1929. In the headline it says she was 80 years old. How the heck is someone who was 80 years old in 2012 born in 1929?

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