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The Campaign for UC Davis

Office of University Development

UC Davis
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Davis, CA 95616-5270

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Campaign gift highlights: Fall 2011

by Angela Hokanson

As of mid-August, more than 82,000 donors have committed more than $702 million for student support, endowed faculty positions, programs, patient care, facilities and emerging opportunities as part of The Campaign for UC Davis. During the 2010–11 fiscal year, UC Davis received more than $117.6 million in gifts, pledges and private grants, according to unaudited totals. It was the fifth consecutive year that philanthropic support for UC Davis surpassed $100 million.

Photo: Cristina Davis

Cristina Davis (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

The Hartwell Foundation has awarded a $300,000, three-year grant to support research by Cristina Davis—an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering—to develop a breath sensor device that could improve asthma control in children. She is the third UC Davis researcher to receive a Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award in the last three years.

Photo: John Eadie

John Eadie (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

Paul and Sandi Bonderson gave $500,000 to enhance the Dennis G. Raveling Endowed Professorship in Waterfowl Biology. Paul serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. The professorship is currently held by professor John Eadie, and helps Eadie and his students protect and improve the wetland and agricultural habitats of waterfowl in the Central Valley. Peter ’63 and Nora Stent joined the Bondersons with a recent $99,000 gift to the endowment, which they helped establish in 1994. Peter Stent is a member of the Campaign Cabinet, a group of volunteers that provides leadership and expertise during UC Davis’ first comprehensive campaign.

The UC Davis Annual Fund received more than $1.7 million in gifts and pledges from nearly 15,000 alumni, faculty, staff, parents, students and friends during the 2010–11 fiscal year. The contributions—which ranged in size from $5 to $25,000—provide flexible funding that enables the university to respond to emerging opportunities. Last year’s Annual Fund donors included Karl Gerdes, M.S. ’73, Ph.D. ’84, and his wife, Pam Rohrich, M.A. ’74, D.V.M. ’83, UC Davis Chancellor’s Club members who have given to the Annual Fund every year since 1993. Their gifts are matched by Gerdes’ employer, Chevron Corp. Gerdes and Rohrich met at UC Davis, and the university helped them build the foundations for their professional careers.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation recently awarded three grants to the university: a $225,000 New Directions Fellowship to Christina Cogdell, an associate professor of architectural and design history, to support her research on the impact of scientific theories on the history of art, architecture and design; a $173,800 Sawyer Seminar grant to Marisol de la Cadena, associate professor of anthropology, to conduct a yearlong, interdisciplinary seminar exploring the intersection of environmental concerns and indigenous cultures worldwide; and a $580,000 grant to the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts to deepen the experience of classical music for audience members, artists and students.

A gift of $1.2 million from the estate of Robert Osborne has established the Robert and Rosabel Osborne Endowed Chair in Evolution and Ecology in the College of Biological Sciences. It is held by Vice Chancellor for Research Harris Lewin. The late Robert Osborne ’26 was a longtime UC Davis supporter and served as a UC Davis Foundation Trustee.

A $250,000 grant from the PARSA Community Foundation will help the Middle East/South Asia Studies Program establish its first visiting lecturer position in Iranian/Persianate Studies. The grant, together with other gifts from members of the Iranian American community and other funds, will support a lecturer to teach Iranian studies courses each year and allow the program to expand course offerings, offer additional conferences and support further academic research in Iranian studies.

A $250,000 gift from Faris Saeed, a Dubai resident who supports several programs within Middle East/South Asia Studies, has launched the Faris Saeed Lecture Series in Arab Studies. The gift also supports a new Arab studies curriculum.

This article was originally published in UC Davis Magazine.