The Leatherby Libraries recently dedicated our newest group study room, the Loretta Sanchez ’82 Multi-Media Preview Room. This room is dedicated to the Honorable (Hon.) Loretta Sanchez ’82, a Chapman alumna, trustee, and university donor who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1997 to 2017. In 2017, Sanchez gave the Leatherby Libraries her congressional papers from her 20 years in office.

The collection contains 17 boxes of the congressional and personal papers of the Hon. Loretta Sanchez. Also included was a generous gift towards upgrading the original Multi-Media Preview Room to allow the Leatherby Libraries to curate a brand new Story Room detailing Sanchez’s journey as the first woman and Latina from Orange County elected to Congress.

Loretta Sanchez ‘82 Multi-Media Preview Room

The Hon. Loretta Sanchez in front of the Timeline Wall outlining highlights of her life and congressional career

On October 13, 2023, Chapman University and Orange County community members gathered on the third floor of the Leatherby Libraries to celebrate the reopening of the Loretta Sanchez ’82 Multi-Media Preview Room and the dedication of Sanchez’s papers and archives.

Left to Right: President of Chapman University Daniele Struppa, Jack Einwechter (Sanchez’s husband), Loretta Sanchez ’82 (center), Dean of the Leatherby Libraries Kevin Ross, Trustee Emeritus Joanne Leatherby, President Emeritus Jim Doti (pictured left to right).

Since Sanchez’s original gift of support, the Leatherby Libraries has been on a mission to transform the Multi-Media Preview Room into a Story Room to highlight one of our most prominent and notable alumna. The completion of this room marks it as one of our newest and most updated Story Rooms at the Leatherby Libraries that will tell the story of Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez for current and future generations of Chapman University students.

Loretta Sanchez ’82 (left) poses with the Dean of the Leatherby Libraries Kevin Ross, (right) and Assistant Dean of DEI Initiatives and Development Essraa Nawar (center)

The beautifully decorated and designed room has a timeline of Congresswoman Sanchez’s career highlights, iconic photos from her congressional career, a quote from President Emeritus Jim Doti, framed certificates, and her official congressional portrait. Additionally, the funding also enabled the Library to make significant upgrades for the Chapman University students using this room, including:

    • Sharp 70″ 4K TV Interactive Display
    • Apple TV
    • Polycom Poly Studio, including Video Bar with Conference Kit
    • Extron Pro 7″ Tabletop TouchLink Panel
    • An equipment rack for a VHS Player and Multi-Regional DVD/BluRay Player
    • New carpeting and paint
    • New tables and chairs
    • Glass Dry Erase Board
    • Conference Room Seating – Half Lounge
    • Laptop Table
    • Dimmable LED Lighting

The Multi-Media Preview Room, #311, is available for Chapman students, faculty, and staff and is part of our themed story room collection, each dedicated to a different topic.

Loretta Sanchez Papers

We are excited to announce that the Loretta Sanchez papers, the congressional archive of Congresswoman Sanchez, who represented areas of Orange County (1997-2017), are now accessible to researchers. A Chapman University alumna, the first woman and first Latina from Orange County elected to Congress, the Honorable Loretta Sanchez is also a member of the University’s Board of Trustees.

Donated to Chapman University in 2017, the Loretta Sanchez papers span from 1994 to 2016. The papers mainly contain government records, publications, news media serials, and A/V media. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Dornan v. Sanchez election contest and election campaigns, 1994-1998
  • Committee on Armed Services, 1995-2008
  • Congressional Caucus on Vietnam and Congressional Human Rights Caucus, 1996-2010
  • Committee on Homeland Security, 1997-2008

The finding aid/collection guide to the papers is online at

Thank you, Loretta, for all you’ve given us here at the Leatherby Libraries and Chapman University.