UC San Diego News Center


Private Support to UC San Diego Tops $130 Million for 2011-12 Fiscal Year

Despite weak economy, giving increased by 9 percent

In 2012, the University of California, San Diego was named a “best value” public college by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. Despite increasing state budget cuts, UC San Diego has made the list for the last 10 years, due in part to scholarships and fellowships funded by the investment of generous donors. UC San Diego raised $131.1 million in private support in fiscal year 2011-12—a 9 percent increase over the previous year’s total of $120.7 million—with $13.3 million committed to the Invent the Future campaign to help students achieve their goal of a world-class UC education.

Scholarships help to ensure access and affordability for students like mathematics major George Santellano, who will graduate in 2013. He plans to use his skills in finance and accounting to start a foundation that provides scholarships for low-income students from Southeast San Diego, where he grew up.

George Santellano

Scholarship recipient George Santellano

Santellano is grateful for scholarship support that made his dream of attending the campus a reality. “Without scholarships, I would not be able to afford school and my potential would never have been tested,” he said.

Only 6.6 percent of UC San Diego’s total revenues come from the State of California funds for education. Last year, support from 28,000 donors helped to continue the excellence of the university despite budget challenges.

“Gifts—from student scholarship funds to endowment support—make an incredible impact on our campus and community that will last for generations,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “We are grateful to our university supporters for their generosity, vision and commitment to UC San Diego and our mission.”


Students (green hard hats) looking on the seismic tests.

Foundations were the largest source of private support to the campus, including the Charles Lee Powell Foundation, which supports graduate students who are vital to the success of UC San Diego. Elide Pantoli, a Powell Fellow, was one of two lead structural engineering graduate students taking part in a series of seismic tests conducted on the world’s largest outdoor shake table to evaluate the damage that could occur to key buildings such as hospitals during a major earthquake.

Pantoli explained, “After a major earthquake you need hospitals to be 100 percent functional because there will be a lot of injured people needing help. What we are trying to achieve is to check the performance of the non-structural components in a real earthquake to see what needs to be improved.”

Last year, more than half of UC San Diego’s private support was designated for research. The W.M. Keck Foundation of Los Angeles supports “high risk/high reward” discoveries that enable campus researchers to translate innovative ideas into real world impact. The Foundation awarded funding to UC San Diego’s Steve Dowdy, a professor in the department of cellular and molecular medicine at the School of Medicine, and Yitzhak Tor, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry, to explore a pioneering molecular approach to drug delivery that could change the pharmaceutical industry worldwide.

Steve and Susan Hart

The number of alumni giving to UC San Diego significantly increased during fiscal 2011-12. Cymer, a leading developer of light sources used by chipmakers worldwide, made a generous donation to build the Conference Center in the new Jacobs School of Engineering Structural and Materials Engineering Building. Receiving their Ph.D. degrees from UC San Diego, Cymer’s founders Bob Akins and Richard Sandstrom are longtime supporters of the campus. ViaSat co-founder Steve Hart, a 1980 M.A. graduate, and his wife Susan Hart, who earned a Ph.D. in 1986, contributed to the Alumni Leadership Scholarship Program to serve as encouragement and inspiration to deserving students.

Following is a sampling of other generous donors who provided support to UC San Diego through both leadership and legacy gifts, as well as grants:

  • $5.6 million in corporate in-kind gifts of equipment helped to support innovation at the Center for the Future of Surgery;
  • The Leila Y. Mathers Charitable Foundation funded nearly $4 million in grants for the Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny;
  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Birch Aquarium received $3.5 million in unrestricted funds from the estate of the late David DeLaCour;
  • Biological Sciences and Scripps Oceanography were beneficiaries of $2.7 million in grants from the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation;
  • A total of $2.7 million was given by the Qualcomm Foundation and Qualcomm Incorporated primarily to the Jacobs School of Engineering, and other campus areas;
  • UC San Diego Pediatrics, School of Medicine and the Jacobs School received $1.7 million in grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation;
  • The estate of Alice Goldfarb Marquis, Ph.D. ’78, an accomplished writer, historian and alumna of UC San Diego, left $1.1 million to support the UC San Diego Libraries;
  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation granted $1.4 million to Family and Preventative Medicine; and
  • The International Innovation Initiative, part of the UC San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, was granted initial annual funding of nearly $1 million via the Korea Electronics Technology Institute.