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UC San Diego Becomes Nation’s Youngest University to Reach $3 Billion in Fundraising Campaign

The Campaign for UC San Diego

The Campaign for UC San Diego exceeded its initial $2 billion goal by $1 billion, fueling work to uncover solutions to the world’s most urgent challenges from Alzheimer’s disease to homelessness

In just over six decades, the University of California San Diego has become an international powerhouse in research, innovation, health care, the arts and education. The university announced a new landmark milestone today: it has surpassed its original $2 billion fundraising goal for the Campaign for UC San Diego by $1 billion, raising a total of $3 billion. The Campaign for UC San Diego will conclude June 30, 2022. UC San Diego is the youngest university in the country to reach a multibillion-dollar campaign goal.

More than 163,000 friends, alumni, foundations and corporations have showed their support of UC San Diego with gifts and grants of all sizes, making a remarkable collective impact that has propelled the campus forward past the original fundraising goal. This support has been designated by donors to provide funding to 453 different areas on campus—allowing UC San Diego to continue on its nontraditional path toward revolutionary ideas, unexpected answers, lifesaving discoveries and planet-changing impact. 

“When we launched the Campaign for UC San Diego a decade ago, we knew we had a solid comprehensive strategic plan and a unique array of world-class talent working on leading-edge research that would garner billion-dollar investment,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “As the Campaign gained momentum, new opportunities opened, creating a chain reaction of enthusiasm that has powered a remarkable transformation for our students, our patients, our community and our world.”

Philanthropic support through the Campaign for UC San Diego is providing scholarships, fellowships and support programs for more students who need them. It is recruiting and retaining more top-tier educators, researchers and physician-scientists. It is discovering novel therapies and cures for the world’s most devastating diseases. It is building academic and laboratory spaces purposefully designed to encourage collaborations that innovate and create technologies to enhance the human experience. And it is creating community, arts and cultural spaces and initiatives that entertain, enrich and enlighten our students and our greater San Diego community.

“With these and continued investments from our generous donors,” said Khosla, “potential for changing the world is not only possible, it is probable.”

Campaign leadership steps up

The Campaign for UC San Diego Cabinet, composed of 100 national leaders and alumni, collectively donated $1 billion to the campaign, with 100% participation. In addition, more than 46,500 alumni donors have given over $253 million in gifts, representing an increase of 1,320% over the last campaign.

“We are so proud of the broad representation and dedication of our Campaign Cabinet members,” said Ken Kroner, PhD ’88, co-chair of the Campaign for UC San Diego Cabinet. “More than 50% of our Campaign Cabinet are alumni, showing a growing culture of philanthropy among our alumni base. We are thrilled that the campus has so significantly surpassed its fundraising goal, allowing our students, faculty, researchers and staff to make an even larger positive impact in the world.”

Jacobs Medical Center at UC San Diego Health

Jacobs Medical Center at UC San Diego Health opened thanks to $100 million in support from Campaign for UC San Diego honorary chairs, Joan and Irwin Jacobs. Photos by Erik Jepsen/University Communications

“It is an extraordinary achievement that the Campaign Cabinet has generated $1 billion, which reflects our collective commitment and belief in the remarkable impact and potential of UC San Diego,” said Aryeh Bourkoff ’95, co-chair of the Campaign for UC San Diego Cabinet. “We are so appreciative of the perfect participation and generosity of our Cabinet members, as well as all of our alumni and friends who have come together to help support and ultimately transform UC San Diego over the last decade.”

Honorary chairs for the Campaign for UC San Diego—Joan and Irwin Jacobs, Ernest Rady and T. Denny Sanford—set the foundation for a successful campaign with their generosity.

The Jacobs provided $100 million in support for the landmark Jacobs Medical Center at UC San Diego Health, which opened in late 2016. In addition, they provided support over the decade-long campaign to a wide range of other areas including a $15 million gift to rename the Peter F. Cowhey Center on Global Transformation at the School of Global Policy and Strategy.

Through the Rady Family Foundation, Ernest and Evelyn Rady committed $100 million in 2015 to help recruit and retain faculty and fund strategic priorities at the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego, which they helped establish in 2004 with a $30 million lead gift.

In a bold step toward delivering the therapeutic promise of human stem cells, Sanford committed $100 million to the creation of the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center at UC San Diego Health in 2013. With another $100 million commitment, he went on to establish the T. Denny Sanford Institute for Empathy and Compassion, focused on research into the neurological basis of compassion, with application toward developing compassion and empathy-focused training for future generations of medical professionals.

Supporting the next generation

A key priority of the Campaign for UC San Diego is supporting undergraduate and graduate students. Since the beginning of the Campaign, the campus has raised $375 million for student support and success and established more than 300 new scholarships funds, including 157 which are endowed and will remain in perpetuity. In addition, over 180 new funds were established for graduate fellowships, which includes 64 endowed fellowships.

A marquee program established during the Campaign for UC San Diego was the Chancellor’s Associates Scholars Program (CASP), which was created to provide scholarships and academic resources to students from underserved populations. Supported by fundraising that has generated $8 million, the award has gone to more than 1,800 students, such as Patrick Buenaventura ’25, a management science major.

Chancellor’s Associates Scholars Program

The Chancellor’s Associates Scholars Program has benefited 1,800 students since it was established in 2013

“This scholarship meant an actual chance of getting a college degree for me and by extension, my family,” Buenaventura said. “Without my Chancellor’s Associates Scholarship, I do not think there was any realistic chance of me attending a university right out of high school.”

Giving the program an additional boost are several matches established during the Campaign for student support, including the Chancellor’s Scholarship and Fellowship Challenge, the Karen and Jeff Silberman Chancellor’s Associates Inspiration Challenge I and II, and the Timmons/Sandstrom Chancellor’s Associates Endowment Challenge, established by alumni Sandra Timmons ’81 and Rick Sandstrom ’72, PhD ’79.

“The Chancellor’s Associates Scholarship enables all qualified students the opportunity to attend UC San Diego, not just those with families that have the means to send them,” said Timmons, who also serves as UC Regent-designate. “We believe it is important to support our local community and help in the development of the region’s future leaders. By focusing on inclusion, the program increases the diversity of the university which benefits all students.”

Campaign gifts make a difference on campus—and beyond

Park & Market

Park & Market, UC San Diego’s long-planned presence in downtown San Diego, opened recently, thanks in part to gifts from Malin and Roberta Burnham and David and Claire Guggenheim

Donations to the general UC San Diego campus total to date $1.52 billion during the Campaign for UC San Diego. These gifts supported areas including scholarships and fellowships, research and innovation, campus transformation and community outreach. A selection of gifts to general campus included:

  • With a $75 million donation, alumnus Taner Halıcıoğlu ’96, made the largest alumni gift the campus has ever received to establish the groundbreaking Halıcıoğlu Institute for Data Science at UC San Diego.
  • The late Franklin Antonio ’74 became the first alumnus to have a building named in his honor—Franklin Antonio Hall—after making a $30 million gift to support the Jacobs School of Engineering. Set to open in fall 2022, the 200,000-square-foot engineering building is designed to foster collaborative research, active learning and technology transfer.
  • With support from Phyllis and Dan Epstein and Hanna and Mark Gleiberman, the campus recently launched the Homelessness Hub at UC San Diego, the region’s first large-scale, university-based research and data hub focused exclusively on homelessness. Each couple gave $1 million to establish the new initiative.
  • A $10 million gift from the Epsteins also established the Epstein Family Amphitheater, a new state-of-the-art 2,850-seat venue on campus, which will open in October 2022. The open-air amphitheater will showcase local and international talent in more than 300 performances a year—from rock concerts to classical quartets and theatrical dance.
  • Alumnus and biotech industry leader David Goeddel ’72 and his wife, Alena, established the Goeddel Family Technology Sandbox at UC San Diego recently with a $7.5 million gift. The new, innovative campus facility is designed to provide enhanced access to cutting-edge technologies and expertise to accelerate collaboration, discovery, technology transfer, workforce development and data analytics.
  • Deepak and Varsha Israni established the Suraj Israni Center for Cinematic Arts within the School of Arts and Humanities in memory of their late son, Suraj, an aspiring filmmaker. The center is committed to promoting, advancing and advocating for film, filmmaking and the cinematic arts.
  • The Center for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation, created with a $5 million commitment from Richard and Carol Dean Hertzberg, is focused on climate research that considers how society can address the consequences of climate change that are already unfolding. Projects include a sea-level rise and flood alert program in the vulnerable coastal community of Imperial Beach.
  • UC San Diego Park & Market, the university’s long-planned presence in downtown San Diego, opened recently. The intellectual hub for civic engagement, learning and collaboration was made possible in part thanks to philanthropic support from Malin Burnham and his wife, Roberta, who committed $3 million to the project, as well as David and Claire Guggenheim who donated $1 million to name the Guggenheim Theatre.

Campaign gifts support lifelong health and medical advancements

UC Health Milk Bank

Support from Hannah and Zach Johnson helped establish the UC Health Milk Bank, which is the first and only milk bank in region

Donations totaling $1.48 billion were designated to the Health Sciences at UC San Diego, with the goal of supporting lifelong health and well-being, research for new treatments and cures for devastating diseases and medical facilities for enhanced treatment of patients. A sampling of gifts in this area included:

Philanthropic support through June 30, 2022, will continue to contribute to the Campaign for UC San Diego, empowering our changemaking students; inspiring groundbreaking research; and advancing compassionate, patient-centered care. Visit the Campaign for UC San Diego website for more information.