UCLA selling Mays' Landing to meet commitment to donors, benefit Semel Institute
By Steve Ritea March 20, 2013 Category: Campus News
UCLA has placed a scenic oceanfront home in Malibu known as Mays' Landing up for sale and will direct all proceeds to the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. Located 26 miles from campus, the seldom used 2,000-square-foot home has led to financial losses for the university in recent years.
The 1.27-acre property at 28820 Cliffside Dr., which overlooks the Pacific in the Point Dume area, was endowed to UCLA in 1987 by Genevieve May, a psychiatrist, following the death of her husband, Philip May, the former clinical director of UCLA's Neuropsychiatric Institute and an international expert in the treatment of schizophrenia. The couple lived at the home, which they called Mays' Landing, and held research meetings with colleagues there.
UCLA became the sole owner of the property when Genevieve May died in 2004. While her intent was for UCLA faculty, staff and students to take advantage of the property for meetings, retreats and study sessions, its distance from campus and UCLA's commitment to honor residential zoning restrictions have left it seldom utilized in recent years. Since the summer of 2009, the property has been used less than a dozen times by UCLA.
As specified in the gift agreement, proceeds from the sale will fund UCLA Semel Institute research, professorships and lectureships named in honor of Philip and Genevieve May.
"Mays' Landing is a stunningly beautiful place and was a wonderfully generous gift by dear friends and distinguished colleagues who made tremendous contributions to psychiatry and psychoanalyis and really cared about UCLA," said Peter C. Whybrow, director of UCLA's Semel Institute. "While I personally regret that we haven't been able to better utilize the property for retreats, given its size and distance from campus, the sale of the property will enable the university to continue the scientific work that was so important to Philip and Genevieve, as they originally intended with the gift."
Whybrow said important artifacts from the home, like Philip May's papers, will be carefully preserved at the Semel Institute so that their contributions to science and the university are always remembered.
The original gift agreement stipulates that a sale is permitted "if financial losses or prospective losses are of such magnitude in the maintenance and repair ... that the Chancellor could reasonably conclude that they were excessive" or if "circumstances have so substantially changed as to interfere with the University's beneficial use and enjoyment of Mays' Landing."
Although Genevieve May established a fund to help UCLA cover the property's maintenance costs, in recent years it has not been enough. UCLA officials said recent major reductions in state support have forced the campus to make certain its resources are directed to the campus's academic mission.