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Private Support for UC Davis Tops $216 Million

August 21, 2008

More than 44,000 donors supported UC Davis with nearly $216.8 million in gifts, pledges and private grants last fiscal year, marking the sixth consecutive year that philanthropic support has grown and the first time that UC Davis has surpassed $200 million.

Almost half of the total -- $100 million -- came from a single philanthropic grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, directed to found a new nursing school in Sacramento. The foundation's philanthropic grant is the largest in the nation in support of nursing education.

In all, the nearly $216.8 million in support in 2007-08 represents a 114 percent jump compared with the previous fiscal year, when private support totaled more than $101 million. Even without the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation grant, giving increased 12 percent, year to year.

Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef expressed thanks for the generosity and pointed out how important philanthropic support is to UC Davis as the university enters its centennial year.

"We are grateful to each and every one of our donors who helps and believes in our mission at UC Davis," Vanderhoef said. "Their support and commitment provide new and better opportunities for our students and faculty as we look to address society's challenges of the next 100 years."

Vanderhoef noted that UC Davis has benefited from philanthropy since its founding, when members of the local chamber of commerce raised money to donate water rights for the proposed campus site. Many believe that gift made the difference in locating the university in what was then known as the town of Davisville.

"Even our early advocates understood that philanthropic support could provide an extra margin that can make all the difference," Vanderhoef said. "Philanthropy continues to be so very important to UC Davis. This year, the university has benefited in many ways, from unrestricted annual gifts that provide funding where it is always needed, to the magnificent grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to found a nursing school that is critically important to California and the nation."

Donors in 2007-08 included alumni, parents, faculty and friends, as well as corporations, foundations, and other organizations, according to Cheryl Brown Lohse, associate vice chancellor for University Development. In addition, UC Davis students made contributions, through a senior class gift effort.

Gifts and philanthropic grants provided a wide range of support for students, faculty and programs.

Consider the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation's grant to establish the proposed Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. The grant was inspired by UC Davis and the foundation's shared vision: highly skilled and well-prepared nurses will lead our national health-care system in assuring patient safety, improving quality of care and health outcomes, guiding policy decisions and discovering knowledge to advance health.

In addition to that foundation's philanthropic grant, 18 donors made gifts of $1 million or more, including:

  • $10 million of an expected $12.5 million gift from the Louise Rossi Estate, benefitting the Department of Viticulture and Enology. The gift will support high priority research in many ways, including the purchase of equipment for the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science and the future establishment of endowed chairs to support faculty positions in winemaking and grape growing. This gift will also augment the previously established Rossi Prize endowment, which supports viticulture and enology students.

  • $10 million from alumnus Maurice J. Gallagher Jr. and his wife, Marcia, toward the construction of the new three-story, 40,000-square-foot home for the Graduate School of Management. In addition, it established an endowment to provide for faculty and student support, and program expansion and development. This is the largest gift UC Davis has ever received from an alumnus.

  • $1 million from the Bernard Osher Foundation to endow the Osher Reentry Scholarship Program. Last year, the Osher Foundation gave the campus $1 million to endow the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UC Davis.

Each of UC Davis' four colleges and five professional schools received private support. The Health System, which includes the proposed Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing as well as the School of Medicine, recorded the highest amount at $120.3 million. It was followed by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, at $29.2 million, and the Graduate School of Management, at $12.1 million.

Of the philanthropic total, 26 percent was directed toward research, while department/faculty support and student support received a combined 58 percent. Campus improvement and other program support received the remaining 16 percent.

Of the nearly $216.8 million, donors committed a total of $31 million to invested funds -- or endowments -- to provide ongoing support for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, research and other university programs. Donors directed $23.1 million to endowment support through the UC Davis Foundation. The foundation, established in 1959, receives private gifts to benefit UC Davis, invests its endowed gift funds and other private assets, and advises university leaders in areas related to public trust and support. UC Davis alumna Pam Fair '80 currently chairs the foundation board of trustees, which also includes 40 other volunteer leaders.

More than 16,000 donors supported the Annual Fund in 2007-08, giving nearly $1.8 million. The chancellor allocates Annual Fund gifts to areas of greatest need, including student and faculty support.

UC Davis receives about 21 percent of its total budget from the state, and receives additional support from a variety of funding sources, including donors. UC Davis has crossed the $100 million threshold twice before, in the 2001-02 fiscal year, when the university raised $110 million, including a gift of $35 million from Robert and Margrit Mondavi, and last year, with $101 million.

"We are very grateful to all of our donors who have been so generous to UC Davis this year," said Beverly Sandeen, vice chancellor for University Relations, which includes University Development. "We are honored and inspired by these donors, who have seen what UC Davis can accomplish through philanthropic support."

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