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  • Judy Piercey
  • Jade Griffin

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  • Judy Piercey
  • Jade Griffin

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UC San Diego Raises $177.5 Million to Break Campus Fundraising Record

$2 million Gift from Alumnus Supports Computer Science

Photos by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

Public universities must increasingly rely on philanthropy to support academic excellence

Today, the University of California, San Diego celebrates its latest breakthrough—a record-breaking year of private support for the campus. UC San Diego raised 20 percent more during fiscal year 2014-15 compared to the previous year, with over 43,000 gifts and grants totaling $177.5 million.

“I am so grateful to our community of generous and visionary alumni and friends who helped UC San Diego achieve this fundraising milestone,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “These critically needed funds will help us realize our Strategic Plan goals which include a focus on students, research and public service.”

In addition to the reported annual totals above, UC San Diego received a commitment for $100 million from Evelyn and Ernest Rady that will create an endowment to benefit the Rady School of Management.


UC San Diego Health Sciences was the beneficiary of 56 percent of the total dollars raised, generating $99.1 million in private support. Of this amount, over $20 million in gifts were designated to support Jacobs Medical Center, including $2.75 million from an anonymous donor, $1.25 million from Ellen and Ingram Chodorow and $1 million from the Preuss Family Foundation. The new facility, the largest hospital project in Southern California, will add 245 private beds to support highly specialized services for women and infants, advanced surgery and cancer care. Jacobs Medical Center is part of the university’s investment in the future of health care for the entire region, and it will advance UC San Diego’s goal of enriching human life and society.

During the 2014-15 fiscal year, donors designated the largest amount of funding to research, with $87.8 million given for this purpose. Glaucoma research received a boost with two grants totaling $1.5 million from the Glaucoma Research Foundation to the UC San Diego Donald P. and Darlene V. Shiley Eye Institute, which encompasses the Shiley Eye Center, the Anne F. and Abraham Ratner Children’s Eye Center, the Hamilton Glaucoma Center and the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Retina Center.

“It was always very clear that my late husband had a special place in his heart for the Shiley Eye Center,” said Darlene Shiley, a staunch supporter of the center since it was founded in 1991. “Successful past, bright future—how lucky we all are to have such dedicated physicians, researchers, staff and eager volunteers.”

Endowed gifts increased by 196 percent, with $37.2 million in total dollars raised in 2014-15 compared to $12.6 million last year. Local philanthropists established six of the campus’ eight endowed faculty chairs through the University of California’s Presidential Match for Endowed Chairs. Through this initiative, the UC San Diego Department of Music received its first two endowed chairs for distinguished faculty.

“For more than 500 years, the world’s great universities have attracted and supported distinguished educators by endowing academic chairs,” said UC San Diego Arts and Humanities Dean Cristina Della Coletta. “What these chairs mean for the Department of Music is that we can honor outstanding faculty for their past and potential contributions to UC San Diego, as well as support their current work.”

The largest source of gifts to the campus was from foundations, with a total of $66.9 million raised. Because of their passion for changing the way education is delivered to students living in underserved areas, Robert and Allison Price, through Price Philanthropies, donated $6 million to UC San Diego’s Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The gift will establish the Price Philanthropies Ocean Science Education Fund, an endowment to provide an educational outreach program in ocean and earth science.


“Children are the future stewards of our land and our oceans,” said Allison Price. “The more educated our young people are, the better chance we have of maintaining our environment. You never know who’s going to be the next scientist that’s going to discover something.”

The amount given by alumni to the campus increased by 252 percent, compared to the previous year. A $2 million gift from UC San Diego alumnus Taner Halicioglu will provide critical support for undergraduate education in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. It was a lecturer who left the greatest impression on Halicioglu when he was an undergraduate majoring in computer science. His gift will help recruit, retain and support the professors and lecturers whose primary mission is to teach and mentor students.

“I want to give the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at UC San Diego the resources it needs to teach students and the ability to serve as many aspiring students as possible,” said Halicioglu, who graduated from UC San Diego in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science and a passion for systems and data science. “These teachers truly inspire students.”

In addition, the campus received $14.7 million in funds to support undergraduate and graduate students. Ciara Dooley, who will graduate in 2016, is working towards a degree in mechanical engineering. Her enthusiasm for robotics is irrepressible. “There are so many different ways to use them,” she explains, “so many things robots can do to vastly improve life.” But for Ciara, and thousands of other students, if it weren’t for a scholarship she might not have chosen UC San Diego—the place where she found her passion for developing robotic devices to help others.

Following is a sampling of the other generous leadership and legacy gifts and grants from donors who provided support to UC San Diego in 2014-15:

  • $5.5 million from an anonymous donor to create an endowed medical school scholarship fund;
  • $5 million from Denny Sanford for the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center;
  • $4.6 million from The G. Harold & Leila Y. Mathers Charitable Foundation to support research in the School of Medicine and biological sciences;
  • $4 million directed by Joan and Irwin Jacobs to provide endowed funds in support of the School for Global Policy and Strategy (GPS);
  • $2.4 million in grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for pediatrics, GPS and physical sciences;
  • $2.4 million from The Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation for physics and neurosciences;
  • $1.75 million from William and Amy Koman for the Koman Family Presidential Chair in Cancer Research;
  • $1.6 million from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for a variety of areas including graduate student support, pediatrics, engineering and social sciences;
  • $1 million from Mary Looker for the Stuart Collection endowment;
  • $1 million from Fred B. Luddy Family Foundation for the cancer cell mapping initiative;
  • $1 million from Korea Electronics Technology Institute (KETI) to provide support for electrical and computer engineering;
  • $1 million from an anonymous donor to support the newly launched Center for Hellenic Studies;
  • $800,000 from the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America to support medicine; and
  • $600,000 UC San Diego value of an in-kind gift of a disk system from IBM to be used as a research tool for the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination.

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