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Gift to Cancer Research Helps Push UCSD Over $1 Billion Fund-raising Mark
More Than 100,000 Donors Contribute to Seven-Year Campaign Effort

Ioana Patringenaru | June 11, 2007

The largest planned gift in UCSD’s history helped the campus meet its $1 billion fund-raising goal and conclude the seven-year Campaign for UCSD, officials announced Friday. The campaign closed with a $34 million gift for cancer research — a bequest to the UCSD School of Medicine by physician George Ury. He wished to establish an endowed fund for cancer research. 

The Campaign for UCSD (Photo / Victor W. Chen)
From left: QUALCOMM co-founder Irwin Jacobs, Chancellor Marye Anne Fox and San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders.

In addition to Ury, more than 100,000 donors helped UCSD reach the $1 billion fund-raising milestone. The fund-raising initiative had kicked off seven years ago with a $20 million gift from UC Regent and campaign co-chair John Moores, with his wife Rebecca, to build the Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center. A $15 million gift from university supporters Jerome and Miriam Katzin jumpstarted construction, and established a new entity within the center, the Katzin Research Laboratories. Chancellor Marye Anne Fox thanked donors during a press conference Friday.

“I am awed, I am amazed, I am touched,” she said. “Thank you so very much.”

To date, donors have contributed $1.15 billion, she said. The campus celebrated with cake and balloons Friday at Eleanor Roosevelt College’s Great Hall. A wide array of dignitaries were on hand at the event, including San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and former UCSD faculty member and QUALCOMM Incorporated co-founder Irwin Jacobs. The Jacobs family contributed $110 million to the Jacobs School of Engineering and major funding for the Fellows program and the Center for Pacific Economies at the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, among other gifts.

Jacobs recalled coming to campus in 1966, when Revelle was the only college. Today, the university has grown to more than 26,000 employees and has spun off more than 250 local businesses. Thanks to the campaign, still more lies ahead, Jacobs said.

The Campaign for UCSD (Photo / Victor W. Chen)
Chancellor Fox hugs student Sarahi Loya.

“The exciting future is really in front of us,” he said.

The direct impact of the campaign could be felt when UCSD senior Sarahi Loya stepped up to the microphone during Friday’s press conference. She has wanted to be a doctor since ninth grade, she told the audience. But her parents, who hadn’t gone beyond sixth grade in Mexico, couldn’t afford to send her to UCSD. Loya applied anyway. She received funds from Amylin and the Hispanic Scholarship Council to cover her costs. She is the first in her family to attend college.

“Scholarships funded through The Campaign for UCSD have changed the lives of many students, including me,” she said, her voice on the brink of tears at times.

Loya has used her new-found opportunities to give back to the community. She belongs to the UCSD chapter of Flying Samaritans, an organization that operates one-day free clinics in Mexico. As a clinic coordinator, she helps run a site in Ensenada. She finds doctors and students to volunteer. She translates and teaches health seminars. She also tutors students in math and science at Chula Vista High School. The bio-chemistry and chemistry major is now applying for medical school. She would like to stay at UCSD, she said. Chancellor Fox gave Loya a hug at the end of her speech.

Then Robert Nguyen stepped up to the microphone. For most of the press conference, he had been holding his 7-year-old daughter’s hand. Alyson started having trouble walking and using her right hand a few months ago, he explained. She was very upset because she likes to run, swim, draw and write, he said.

The Campaign for UCSD (Photo / Carol Sonstein)
Robert Nguyen, his daughter Alyson and his wife Anh.
(Photo / Carol Sonstein)

The Nguyens found out Alyson had an inoperable brain tumor attached to her brain stem. Doctors at the Rady Children’s Hospital said chemotherapy wasn’t really an option, Robert Nguyen said. Enter Dr. Kevin Murphy at the Moores Cancer Center.

He examined Alyson and started her on a new therapy April 26. A high-energy radiation beam targeted her tumor with great accuracy. Nguyen drives the little girl every day from their home in Valley Center to the Moores Cancer Center for 15- to 30-minute treatments. Alyson’s symptoms have subsided, he said. She now runs faster than her dad, he joked, and her hand writing is as beautiful as ever.

“We’re very thankful to the university and the Moores Cancer Center for giving our daughter back to us,” he said.

San Diego can take pride in UCSD and the contributions it has inspired, said Mayor Sanders. During Friday’s press conference, Sanders and City Council President Scott Peters gave Fox a proclamation marking June 8 as UCSD Day in San Diego.

“I think it’s fair to say that as UCSD goes, so goes the city of San Diego,” Sanders said.

Highlights of The Campaign for UCSD include:
• Of the 100,000 total campaign donors, 51 percent are friends of the university, 28 percent are alumni and 14 percent are parents. Corporations, foundations and organizations represent the remaining 7 percent.

• The market value of the UC San Diego endowment—funds that generate income in perpetuity—doubled to more than $485 million, funding a wide variety of donor-designated needs ranging from student scholarships to faculty recruitment, infrastructure enhancement to research support;

• A leadership gift of $10 million from Richard and Maria (Gaby) Sulpizio is supporting the construction of a state-of-the-art facility that will centralize UCSD’s cutting-edge patient care and research activities in heart and vascular disease and stroke management;

• A $2.5 million contribution for an endowed faculty chair by Ellen Revelle, wife of UCSD founder Roger Revelle, will be used to recruit an outstanding climate scientist for Scripps Institution of Oceanography, one of the world’s foremost climate change research institutions;

• A $6 million gift from philanthropist Conrad Prebys will help make UC San Diego’s new state-of-the-art Music Center, which will include one of the best small concert halls in the world, a community cultural resource;

• UCSD’s Rady School of Management moved to a permanent home on campus specifically designed to encourage the interaction of the school with the wider San Diego community, funded by private support that included a $30 million gift from Ernest Rady and the Rady Family Foundation, and a $5 million gift from Roberta and Malin Burnham;

• Longtime university friend and honorary campaign co-chair Audrey S. Geisel contributed $1 million to establish San Diego’s first librarianship, which will enhance the resources and services of UC San Diego libraries used by students, staff and San Diego residents;

• Local philanthropist Pauline Foster’s gift established the university’s first $5 million endowed chair at the Rady School of Management, supporting programs such as the biennial Stanley Foster Symposium, featuring topical executive level speakers focused on important issues of our time, open to students, faculty and the general community;

• A $30 million gift by The Skaggs Research Institute helped to secure the future of the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, the only public pharmacy school located in Southern California;

• Alumnus Gary E. Jacobs ’79 and his wife, Jerri-Ann, made a $1 million gift to support graduate fellowships, representing the largest single gift ever made to the Division of Social Sciences by an alumnus;

• The first Chancellor’s Chair Challenge netted $5 million to fund 15 critically needed endowed faculty chairs to assist with faculty recruitment and retention efforts, bringing to 53 the total number of chairs established during the campaign;

• Scientists at UCSD, partnering with the J. Craig Venter Institute, developed the first cyberinfrastructure customized to decipher the genetic code of marine microbes, thanks to a $24.5 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation—previously, researchers had trouble finding computer servers that could handle all that data;

• The Shiley Eye Center—home of the region’s first macular degeneration outreach program—was established by UCSD supporters Donald and Darlene Shiley, who contributed an additional gift of $5 million for a much-needed expansion of the facility;

• A $7.5 million gift from Fred Kavli and his foundation established the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind, one of the first examples of UCSD’s commitment to interdisciplinary work by engaging scientists from more than 20 different departments and perspectives;

• With leadership gifts from Gerry and Jeannie Ranglas, Carol Vassiliadis and the Nicholas family, as well as support from San Diego’s Greek community, UCSD is on track to become one of the first U.S. universities with endowed faculty chairs in all three major eras of Greek history;

• The Leichtag Family Foundation Biomedical Research Building, named in recognition of a $12 million gift from the Leichtag Family Foundation, is the university’s first major new biomedical research facility for the Health Sciences in almost 10 years.
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