UC San Diego News Center


30,289 Donors Help UC San Diego Raise $150 Million

Half of all private support given to UC San Diego in 2012-13 was designated for research.

As a leading research university and academic powerhouse, UC San Diego is an agent of change, spurring innovation and economic growth that addresses local, national and global challenges. For fiscal year 2012-13, a total of 30,289 donors helped to continue this legacy of achievement, raising $150.3 million in private support—a 15 percent increase compared to the previous year.

“Private gifts fund support for students, construct academic and medical buildings, ensure excellent patient care, fuel research, foster the arts and promise a diverse student experience,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Our donors, including a growing number of alumni, are coming forward in unprecedented ways to strengthen this institution.”

Private support will play an essential role in maintaining and enhancing our research distinction. Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

“All gifts, large and small, are making an important difference at UC San Diego,” said Steve Relyea, vice chancellor of external affairs at UC San Diego. “From students helping students to loyal supporters funding major initiatives, we thank the more than 30,000 donors who gave to our campus this past year.”

Half of all private support given in 2012-13 was designated for research to support the next invention, cure or breakthrough to continue UC San Diego’s impact on the community and the world. The campus was recently named 15th best research university in the world by the Centre for Science and Technology Studies of Leiden University, which measures scientific impact of universities worldwide. 

Giving by UC San Diego alumni jumped to a record 15 percent of the total funds raised. Last year, the computer science and engineering department received $18.5 million in private support from an alumnus—the largest gift ever made by one of our alumni—which will fund new endowed faculty chairs, top-of-the-line teaching labs, support for graduate students and expanded mentoring and tutoring programs for the next generation of undergraduates.

“I made this gift to recognize the wonderful education I received and to assist the department in its efforts to reach even higher levels of excellence,” said the donor, a graduate of the Jacobs School of Engineering who wishes to remain anonymous. “It is my wish to ‘pay it forward,’ and I hope other alumni, at all giving levels, will consider doing the same.”

The largest source of support in 2012-13, representing 30 percent of total funds raised, was from public and private foundations. The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation awarded $1.6 million to assistant professor of physics and molecular biology Suckjoon Jun, one of UC San Diego’s new generation of scientists fluent in both physics and biology in the interdisciplinary effort called “quantitative biology,” or “Q-bio.”

An $18.5 million gift will enable the computer science and engineering department to reach new levels of excellence. Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

In establishing the award, Allen, a leading philanthropist and technologist who started Microsoft with Bill Gates, explained, “I’ve always been drawn to the big open questions of science. But the pioneering scientists working to answer them can’t promise quick discoveries and often find it difficult to get funding from traditional sources. For us to make progress, we must take risks and invest now in this early-stage, cutting-edge research. Backing these scientists is essential to achieving world-changing breakthroughs.”

Funding scholarships and fellowships for all students who need them is of key importance for UC San Diego. Last year, Jerome and Miriam Katzin endowed a $4 million gift to establish The Katzin Prize Endowment Fund to support graduate students. UC San Diego’s more than 5,000 graduate students raise the caliber of the university’s work by advancing groundbreaking discoveries, driving innovation and generating new knowledge and leadership that will make a difference locally, nationally and around the globe.

UC San Diego Chancellor Khosla noted, “Boosting our endowment and raising funds to support students are strategic campus priorities, and we thank the Katzins for their vision, generosity and commitment to the university’s mission.”

Following is a sampling of gifts, large and small, made to UC San Diego in fiscal year 2012-13:

  • $6.05 million – Bequest from Betty C. and Walter J. Zable, allocated by the campus to support faculty, students and healthcare across campus;
  • $4.6 million – Grant from the U.S. Hereditary Angioedema Association to create an endowed chair, endowed center and faculty support for research in angioedema;
  • $4.3 million – Grant from the Simons Foundation to the Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences;
  • $4.3 million – Gifts from Joan and Irwin Jacobs to support the Moores Cancer Center, Jacobs Scholars, Dean’s Excellence Innovation Fund, School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, Division of Arts and Humanities and the Preuss School UCSD;  
  • $3.7 million – Bequest from Ben and Wanda Hildyard to create three new endowed chairs for research in hereditary, mitochondrial and eye diseases;
  • $2.4 million – Grants from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to Integrative Oceanography and the Qualcomm Institute;
  • $2 million – Grant from the Qualcomm Foundation to benefit UC San Diego’s Qualcomm Institute and to support other areas of the campus;
  • $1.6 million – Grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to pursue an innovative global health and development research project.
  • $300,000 – Gifts from more than 2,500 alumni, faculty, staff, students and community members who returned to campus to participate in the UC San Diego Triton 5K which will fund scholarships
  • $160,000 -  Total pledges from 41 third-year UC San Diego medical students who each committed up to $5,000 of their future earnings to support the Student-Run Free Clinic Project
  • $50,000 – Gift from alumna Karen Hunter Moraghan to “The Zone” student lounge to support programming and workshops ranging from fitness classes to healthy cooking demonstrations.
  • $42,000 – Total raised by the Class of 2013 with matching funds from the UC San Diego Student Foundation; one in four members of the class made a contribution to the Senior Class Gift.
  • $6,600 – Check presented by the volunteer Rosa Parks Elementary Cancer Prevention Club to support the new UC San Diego Jacobs Medical Center.

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