Skip directly to: Main page content

The Campaign for UC Davis

Office of University Development

UC Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616-5270

(530) 754-4438 phone
(530) 754-2294 fax

Philanthropic highlights: Summer 2010

Thousands of committed supporters make philanthropic contributions to UC Davis each year. These donations advance UC Davis’ first-class research, teaching and public service, and make lasting impacts on campus, across the country and around the world. Some recent gifts are highlighted below:

Photo: Associate professor Sanjay Joshi

Associate professor Sanjay Joshi (Photo: Neil Michel/Axiom)

Helping paralyzed children

For the second year in a row, a UC Davis professor has received an esteemed Individual Biomedical Research Award from The Hartwell Foundation. Sanjay Joshi, an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, recently received the three-year, $300,000 grant to advance his work on a computer-human interface that will allow paralyzed children to operate wheelchairs and other devices using just a single facial muscle. The interface will use smart software that adapts as the child grows. UC Davis was one of only 12 universities in the country chosen to nominate researchers for the prestigious awards. Last year, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering Kent Leach was one of 12 researchers nationwide to receive the award.

Tracking cancer cells

The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation selected Soichiro Yamada, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, for a prestigious Beckman Young Investigators Award. The three-year, $300,000 grant will support Yamada’s research into how cancer cells migrate through the body. Yamada was one of 11 researchers nationwide to receive the award in the foundation’s most recent round of grants. The foundation has contributed more than $1.1 million in philanthropic grants to UC Davis. Four other UC Davis faculty have previously received the Beckman Young Investigators Award.

Veterinary education

Michael Floyd ’59, D.V.M. ’61, and Nancy Ehrlich, a registered veterinary technician, recently contributed $100,000 to support Gladys Valley Hall, one of the primary instructional facilities at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Longtime donors to the school, Floyd and Ehrlich have given more than $1.6 million to help construct Gladys Valley Hall, renovate the Pritchard Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital, establish the Michael R. Floyd Dental Operatory Suite, and support the Center for Companion Animal Health and the Wildlife Health Center. Floyd is a leader in the field of veterinary dentistry.

Schizophrenia research

Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry Michael Minzenberg has received a Clinical Scientist Development Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Minzenberg was one of 14 physician-scientists in the country chosen for the award in the most recent round of grants. He will receive a total of $405,000 over three years to conduct research on how a particular medication affects cognitive processes in schizophrenics. The foundation’s Clinical Scientist Development Awards assist junior physician-scientists in their transition to independent clinical research careers.

Photo: Mary Jane and Fred Corson

Mary Jane and Fred Corson (Photo: Cheng Saechao/UC Davis)

Graduate education

Fred ’64, Ph.D., ’67, and Mary Jane Corson recently made a $100,000 gift to the Corson/Dow Graduate Fellowship in Chemistry they established in 1998. This endowed fellowship supports high-achieving graduate students in chemistry. Fred Corson earned both his UC Davis degrees in chemistry. When he retired from a successful career with Dow Chemical, the endowment was established with contributions from the Corsons and Dow. Over the years, the couple has generously contributed nearly $250,000 to the endowed fellowship fund. Twelve UC Davis students have benefitted from this graduate fellowship to date. The Corsons have also made generous unrestricted gifts to the Annual Fund and the College of Letters and Science. Fred Corson, a dedicated volunteer leader, is currently serving his third term as a trustee of the UC Davis Foundation, and is a founding member of the Deans’ Advisory Council in the College of Letters and Science.

Annual Fund

From the beginning of the fiscal year through the end of April, more than 15,000 generous alumni, parents, students and friends made gifts and pledges totaling more than $1.5 million to the UC Davis Annual Fund. The Annual Fund provides unrestricted support for the university’s immediate needs as well as areas of emerging opportunity. This includes support for student scholarships, faculty awards and programs that enrich student life. Annual Fund donations are vital contributions that further the mission of UC Davis.

School of Law and the School of Veterinary Medicine

Drawing: Architect’s rendering

Rendering of the School of Law building expansion and renovation project

The William and Inez Mabie Family Foundation recently made generous gifts and pledges to the School of Law and the School of Veterinary Medicine. A longtime supporter of the law school, the foundation this year gave a $400,000 grant for the King Hall expansion and renovation project (shown in rendering, above). This grant, originally put forth as a challenge, sought to spur engagement in the law school’s building project from other UC Davis supporters. To secure the challenge grant, the school had to receive donations from 100 percent of its faculty and 80 percent of its students, as well as raise $500,000 from other individual donors. The law school met all three goals. The foundation has given more than $2.7 million to the school to name the Mabie Law Library, establish the Mabie-Apallas Public Interest Chair and create the William and Inez Mabie Foundation Scholarship, in addition to giving the Mabie Challenge grant. The foundation also recently committed a challenge grant pledge of $3 million for program support of the School of Veterinary Medicine’s Center for Equine Health, and gave $200,000 this year to the veterinary school for research on the genetic origins of disease in horses.

This article was originally published in UC Davis Magazine.