Law School Mourns Passing of Murray Galinson (’61)
FEBRUARY 1, 2013—Businessman and philanthropist Murray L. Galinson (’61) passed away Jan. 3, 2013, at age 75 in San Diego following surgery to remove a tumor. The Minnesota native was president and CEO of San Diego National Bank for 25 years (1984-2009) and a deeply involved community and political leader.
A sympathy note from President Obama was read at the service, attended by nearly 1,000 of those whose lives Galinson had touched. It said, in part, "Murray's commitment to civic engagement was well-known. And his legacy lives on through his numerous good works and unyielding faith in our democratic process."
After earning his J.D., Galinson practiced law with Mullin, Galinson, Swirnoff and Weinberg in Minneapolis; served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney; and took his first step into politics by winning a spot on the City Council of his hometown, St. Louis Park, Minn.
In 1970 he moved to San Diego to teach at California Western School of Law, where he remained for 13 years until moving into banking. In addition to serving as CEO at San Diego National Bank, Galinson chaired the board for several years. He also was a director and member of the Real Estate Committee of Pricesmart Enterprises, a director and member of the Compensation Committee of Price Legacy Corp., and a founding partner of the development and real estate investment company La Jolla MJ Management Co.
But "politics was truly Galinson's lifeblood," said La Jolla attorney and former San Diego County Democratic Party Chair Paul Peterson in a La Jolla Light article. Galinson was a "liberal in every sense of the word," Peterson said, but he was also the first one to reach across the partisan divide and try to build consensus.
A committed public servant, Galinson served on numerous boards and committees, among them the Monarch School for homeless children, the grant-screening committee of Price Charities, American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Weingart Foundation, San Diego Grantmakers, Leichtag Foundation, Galinson Foundation, and California Western School of Law Board of Trustees. He chaired the boards of San Diego's Jewish Community Foundation, Jewish Funders Network, Hospice Foundation, Advisory Board for Police Community Relations, Citizens Review Board for Police Practices, and Blue Ribbon Task Force on Violence, as well as UC San Diego Chancellors Associates and the California State University (CSU) system.
Galinson was appointed to the California State University Board of Trustees by Gov. Gray Davis in 2000 and served until 2007 (as chair from 2004-06). He saw a doctorate of education first offered to CSU students, creation of "Super Sunday" to help African-American students plan for college, and initiation of a program to help high school students meet college-entrance requirements. When he left the board, Galinson endowed a scholarship fund to the university's Hearst outstanding achievement program for students involved in public service, and the CSU Foundation named recipients Trustee Emeritus Murray L. Galinson Scholars in recognition of his support of the award's goals.
At the Law School, the Galinsons contributed $100,000 to create the Galinson Family Scholarship Honoring Walter F. Mondale (’56) in celebration of Mondale's 80th birthday in 2008 and in tribute to his life of public service. Galinson served as deputy director of Mondale's 1984 presidential campaign and continued a personal friendship over the years.
Galinson completed his B.A. in psychology at the University of Minnesota in 1958. After a year at Stanford Law School, he transferred to the Law School and graduated in 1961. In 1978 he received his Ph.D. in human behavior from United States International University.
He is survived by his wife, Elaine; children Jeffrey, Laura, and Richard; and eight grandchildren.