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Philanthropy news

UC Davis Foundation Board raises $1 million-plus for students


Room full of students and band members
Students and members of the Cal Aggie Band-uh celebrate the news of a new matching-fund scholarship program.
Karin Higgins/UC Davis photo

The University of California, Davis, today announced the creation of a $1 million-plus matching fund to encourage gifts to help UC Davis students.

Under the leadership of UC Davis Foundation Board Chair Bruce Edwards ’60, current and emeriti members of the foundation board and UC Davis administrators personally gave $1.04 million to create a universitywide matching fundraising initiative for endowed student scholarships, fellowships and awards called the UC Davis Foundation Matching Fund for Student Support.

“Our students are our most valuable asset, and this matching fund will provide critical assistance for dozens of them now and in the future,” said Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, who made a lead contribution to the fund. “This fund also helps further the university’s deep commitment to securing support for our students so that they can excel at their academic pursuits and long-term aspirations.”

New gifts of $25,000 and above made to new or existing student support endowments will generate a matching contribution of $25,000 from the foundation’s matching fund. Additionally, the fund provides a bonus allocation of $1,000 so that once the endowed scholarship has been established, help will be provided to students right away. Typically, student support endowments must be invested for a minimum of one year before endowment earnings are distributed through scholarships, fellowships or awards.

“We are grateful to our board members and campus leaders who have yet again demonstrated their exemplary leadership, immense generosity and genuine interest in UC Davis and our students,” said Shaun Keister, vice chancellor for development and alumni relations and president of the foundation. “Their support will provide vital assistance to our students now and for years to come.”

This fundraising initiative is expected to inspire new gifts for student support and raise more than $2 million in new scholarship endowments, which would create about 40 scholarships, fellowships or awards annually and help UC Davis students for generations.

“We understand the challenges students today are facing and that many of them have a need for financial assistance to help pay for their education right away,” said Edwards, founder of Los Gatos, Calif.-based March Development Company. “That is why our board was so motivated to launch this matching fund initiative and do what we can to help these deserving UC Davis students receive a top-quality education.”

Barbara Jackson, longtime supporter of the university and an emerita member of the foundation, made the final contribution to the matching fund initiative and with her $10,000 gift allowed the foundation board to surpass its $1 million goal. 

“UC Davis students are near and dear to my heart,” said Jackson, recipient of the 2013 Cal Aggie Alumni Association’s Distinguished Friend of the University Award. “This matching fund will have a tremendous impact on their lives, which is why I decided to give.”

Members of the foundation board shared the news today with the campus community at a gathering in the Memorial Union Building.

Students, many of whom attended the event, said they are touched by the commitment the board members are making in support of their education.

“Many students wouldn’t be able to attend college without the help of scholarships or fellowships,” said Christine Kim, co-director of We Are Aggie Pride, a student-run fundraising initiative that provides emergency funds to students in need. “It’s great to hear that the UC Davis Foundation has created this matching fund that will help more students pay for their education.”

All gifts made to UC Davis through this matching fund count toward the university’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign. Publically launched in October 2010, The Campaign for UC Davis seeks to inspire more than 100,000 donors to commit $1 billion to UC Davis by 2014. As of Dec. 2, more than 96,000 donors had given more than $863 million through the campaign to advance the university’s vision of excellence in teaching, research and public service.

The UC Davis Foundation is a nonprofit organization that plays an essential role in sustaining and enhancing the excellence of UC Davis by highlighting the impacts of philanthropy and stewarding private donations to the university. It is governed by a distinguished volunteer Board of Trustees.

This article was originally published by UC Davis News Service.