Leo Kolligian, 90, of Fresno, who served as a University of California regent and used his influence as a longtime lawyer to win approval of the UC Merced campus, died at 11 a.m. today from leukemia, his family said.
Mr. Kolligian had been dealing with leukemia without letting news of his condition reach most people, said his son, Lee.
"He was very proud of his community and of bringing the University of California here," Kolligian said. "It took a lot of horse-trading. There were three campuses approved."
Mr. Kolligian prevailed on the state Legislature and governor's office to set priorities so the San Joaquin Valley won selection for the first new UC campus in decades. It helped redress the Valley's chronic second-rung status in California.
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Services for Mr. Kolligian will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday in St. Paul Armenian Church in Fresno.