About Sanford Center

The Sanford Center for Aging strives to enhance the quality of life and well-being among elders and educate current and aspiring healthcare professionals and caregivers. The center is funded in large part through a substantial endowment made by Mrs. Jean Sanford in 1992. The express purpose of this endowment was "…to support the activities… which are directed in whole or substantial part towards research, teaching and publicizing ways and means to improve quality of life for [older adults]."

Our vision

Our vision is to become recognized across Nevada and beyond as leaders in aging-related research, education, and community outreach.

Our mission

The mission of the Sanford Center for Aging is to enhance the quality of life and well-being among elders through education, translational research, and community outreach.

Our origins

In the mid-20th century, Carson City pioneers Graham and Jean Cameron Sanford partially owned the successful Dangberg Land and Livestock Company in Minden, Nevada, south of Carson City. Three years after Graham Sanford's death in 1975, the company was sold, and Mrs. Sanford moved to Carson City to care for her mother. During this period, she envisioned a future for older adults that offered vibrant health, cultural and social opportunities, and dignity of independence. Between 1982 and Mrs. Sanford's death in 1992, she donated substantial sums of money to charities, including a gift of $100,000 to the University of Nevada, Reno in 1985 to establish the Geriatric and Gerontology Center. Mrs. Sanford later designated that 80 percent of her estate be used to establish an endowment for a special university program. Her vision was for the program to develop, implement, and foster academic and applied research, scholarship and statewide collaboration to shape the future of geriatrics and gerontology in Nevada. In honor of her benefaction, in 1993 the state Board of Regents renamed the existing university program the Graham and Jean Sanford Center for Aging. Today the center is supported financially by the endowment created from Mrs. Sanford's estate, as well as federal and state grants, and philanthropic donations.