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Philanthropy news

Annual giving tops $132 million


Group of students in T-shirts posing
The inaugural, all-student "We are Aggie Pride" board of directors helped raise more than $30,000 in short-term financial for fellow students in 2011-12.
Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis photo

Donors committed $132.4 million to the University of California, Davis, during the 2011-12 fiscal year, surpassing the previous year’s total of $117.6 million and marking the sixth consecutive year that philanthropic gifts exceeded $100 million.

The latest commitments bring the university more than 80 percent of the way toward the $1 billion goal set for its first comprehensive fundraising campaign, launched publicly in October 2010. As of June 30, The Campaign for UC Davis had generated $826 million in gifts to advance excellence in research, scholarship and public service.

“We are so thankful to our steadfast supporters whose philanthropic gifts will ensure that UC Davis can continue to uphold its land-grant mission and pursue its path of excellence even during times of state economic volatility,” said Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi.

The university experienced broad-based support in the past fiscal year. Contributions came from more than 40,000 donors, including alumni, parents, friends, faculty, staff, foundations, corporations and current UC Davis students. More than 36,000 gifts and pledges were for less than $1,000.

“We appreciate each and every one of the donors whose great commitment to UC Davis has made this achievement possible,” said Shaun Keister, vice chancellor for development and alumni relations and president of the UC Davis Foundation. “These gifts are already making a tremendous difference in improving the lives of our students and faculty members, and in advancing our innovative research programs, stellar academic instruction and top-quality patient care.”

Here are some of the year’s philanthropic highlights:

* Jan Shrem, proprietor of Clos Pegase winery in Napa Valley, made a $10 million pledge to name the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art. The museum, which is in the architectural design phase, will feature contemporary space for galleries, seminars, research and public gatherings. It will be the new home for UC Davis’ fine arts collection, which contains nearly 5,000 works including Asian prints, drawings, antiquities and ceramics, as well as European works on paper dating from the Renaissance to the present. The collection is strongest in its holdings of Northern California postwar art by artists connected to the UC Davis art department, including former faculty such as Wayne Thiebaud, Robert Arneson, Roy De Forest, William T. Wiley and Manuel Neri, and alumni such as Bruce Nauman, John Buck and Deborah Butterfield.

* Alumni Mike and Renée Child made a $5 million commitment to help launch The Child Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a new nexus of entrepreneurship education and research at UC Davis. The institute integrates solution-driven innovations and entrepreneurial thinking across the university to address society's most pressing issues and strengthen UC Davis’ role as a vital player in catalyzing economic development in the region, state and beyond. Mike Child graduated from UC Davis in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Renée Child also graduated from UC Davis in 1976, with degrees in psychology and German. The couple lives in Atherton, Calif. 

* The Hartwell Foundation, a Tennessee-based organization that supports early stage biomedical research, made awards totaling more than $250,000 to two faculty members and one postdoctoral researcher. The awardees are Frederic Chedin, associate professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, College of Biological Sciences; Noriko Satake, assistant professor of pediatrics in the School of Medicine and UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center; and Paula Goines, postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Molecular Biosciences in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Additionally, the foundation designated UC Davis as one of its Top Ten Centers for Biomedical Research in 2011.

* The late Victor and Genevieve Orsi dedicated more than $1.6 million from their estate to the UC Davis Health System to create an endowment to support research related to Alzheimer's disease at UC Davis. The Lincoln, Calif., couple gave to UC Davis to promote its research in finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Victor, who died in 2006, suffered from the illness.

* The UC Davis Annual Fund received more than $1.7 million in gifts and pledges from more than 14,600 donors. Gifts to the Annual Fund provide the university with valuable flexible funding to support students and faculty, and to meet emerging opportunities.

* In February, UC Davis students launched a fundraising initiative called “We Are Aggie Pride” to provide emergency financial aid to fellow students. In its first five months, this student-run effort raised $30,000 from more than 300 donors and awarded more than $17,000 in short-term financial assistance to students in need.

Each of UC Davis’ 10 colleges and professional schools received philanthropic contributions. The UC Davis Health System received the most philanthropic support with $32.6 million. The College of Letters and Sciences had the best fundraising year in its history, garnering $24.6 million.

Corporations contributed $33.4 million, and foundations gave $40 million.

Contributions came from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  The greatest share, $63.5 million, came from California residents, followed by $9.6 million from Washington residents. More than $7.1 million came from supporters in other countries, almost double the international philanthropic support received in the previous fiscal year.

Bruce Edwards, a 1960 alumnus and chair of the UC Davis Foundation Board of Trustees, said the broad show of support exemplifies the impact the university has on the lives of thousands across the state, nation and world.

“UC Davis students and faculty members are doing so many wonderful things in all areas of campus. It provides everyone with an opportunity to find something they are passionate about and give back,” Edwards said.

The UC Davis Foundation is a nonprofit entity that accepts philanthropic contributions on behalf of the university, promotes philanthropy for UC Davis, and invests and manages private contributions.

This article was originally published by UC Davis News Service.