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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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Philanthropy news

UC Davis exceeds campaign goal in a record-breaking year of giving


Three students examining a coffee filter
A gift from John Wasson ’84, president and chief operation officer of ICF International, provided students with renovated and refitted the lab space for two new courses that use the roasting, processing and brewing of coffee to teach the principles of chemical engineering.
College of Engineering/photo

Donors committed $165.7 million in gifts and pledges to the University of California, Davis, during the 2013-14 fiscal year, surpassing the previous year’s total of $149.1 million and marking the eighth consecutive year that philanthropic gifts and pledges to UC Davis have exceeded $100 million.

During the fiscal year, the university celebrated successfully concluding The Campaign for UC Davis, its first comprehensive fundraising campaign. The university met its goal of raising $1 billion from 100,000 donors on Nov.15, 2013, more than a year ahead of schedule. The campaign concluded on May 31, 2014, with more than $1.13 billion raised from nearly 110,000 donors.

The Campaign for UC Davis

Since the campaign started in July 2006, donors directed:

  • $162.5 million for student support, creating 1,498 scholarships, fellowships and awards for students
  • $521 million for faculty and student research and instruction
  • $114.4 million for university infrastructure, which helped improve more than 200 buildings, labs, classrooms, and gardens at UC Davis and its facilities in Sacramento, Tahoe and Bodega Bay
  • $52.6 million for endowed faculty, which brings our total of endowed positions to 163 — nearly double the amount before the campaign
  • $234.7 million for world-class programs and unparalleled patient care
  • $45.1 million for emerging opportunities across the university

“The end of The Campaign for UC Davis marks a new beginning for the university,” said UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi. “Our supporters are making a global impact by advancing our groundbreaking research and helping provide more deserving students with access to a world-class education. That is why we, as a university, are so thankful for the continued support of our donors.”

2013-14 fiscal year highlights

Nearly $34 million went to student support in the 2013-14 fiscal year, surpassing the previous year’s record-breaking total raised for student scholarships, fellowships, awards and activities by more than 50 percent.

“This year’s fundraising record was achieved because of UC Davis’ broad network of support from throughout California, the U.S. and the world,” said Shaun Keister, vice chancellor of development and alumni relations and president of the UC Davis Foundation. “We are very grateful to each and every one of those donors and look forward to achieving even more with their support.”

Californians donated $96.3 million, an increase of more than $21 million from the prior fiscal year. Within California, donors in Yolo County gave nearly $22 million. Donations from other California counties included: Sacramento, $12.6 million; San Francisco, $10.9 million; Santa Clara, $8.1 million; and Los Angeles, $5.6 million. Residents of New York gave $7.4 million, and $3.6 million came from donors in the state of Washington.

Nineteen donors made cumulative gifts of $1 million or more, and $55 million came from gifts under $100,000. The largest portion of gifts, $72.4 million, was designated for research. Among UC Davis’ 10 colleges and schools, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences raised the largest amount: $39.1 million in gifts and pledges, a 35 percent increase compared to the total raised the previous year. This increase shows the breadth of private support for UC Davis’ global leadership in agriculture, as the No. 1 university in the world for teaching and research in agriculture and forestry for two consecutive years, according to the QS World University Rankings in 2013 and 2014.

Additional philanthropic highlights from the fiscal year include:

  • The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded $1.725 million to support four new humanities research initiatives and $400,000 to the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts to expand its classical music performance series.
  • The Nichols family contributed $100,000 to launch the Central Valley Scholars Program, which provides students with scholarships and job experience and helps businesses in one of the world’s top agricultural production regions draw and retain an educated workforce.
  • UC Davis launched a new, unique, general education chemical engineering course, “The Design of Coffee” because of generous support from donors, including ICF International President and COO John Wasson ’84 and Chevron Corporation. The course teaches students the basic principles of engineering through coffee, the world’s second most valuable traded commodity. It offers hands-on lab experience in lower-division engineering courses and engages nonengineering majors with a compelling topic.
  • The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation awarded a $2.4 million grant to Assistant Professor of Clinical Pathology Chris Polage for a major quality improvement initiative to reduce hospital-acquired infections (Clostridium difficile), a serious nationwide complication.
  • UC Davis broke ground on two buildings supporting the arts in the spring of 2014, both of which are made possible by philanthropic gifts and have ongoing fundraising needs. The Classroom and Recital Hall will be home to performances from the Department of Music and provide much-needed classroom space for the campus. The Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, which launched thanks to a lead gift from Margrit Mondavi and a naming gift from Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem, will be dedicated to education in the arts. 

Private gifts and grants to UC Davis account for roughly 4 percent of the university’s overall budget. Donor-directed funds support students, faculty, staff, infrastructure, patient care, and universitywide priorities and opportunities.

This article was originally published by UC Davis News Service.