Science + Technology

Arcadia Fund gives record $10 million to UCLA History Department

The UCLA Department of History has received its largest gift ever — $10 million in endowed funds from the Arcadia Fund, a philanthropic foundation based in the United Kingdom.
The majority of the endowment will be used to attract and support top graduate students. In addition, a portion of the gift will enable the chair of the department to implement a wide range of priority initiatives, including lectures, seminars, conferences, alumni engagement, and history outreach to the public. The gift will also support faculty and graduate student research.
"Arcadia's extraordinary generosity is a shining example of how enlightened philanthropic leadership can strengthen an already great public institution like UCLA," Chancellor Gene Block said. "At a time of unprecedented economic challenges in public higher education, this historic gift will help ensure UCLA's excellence into the future."
"We are truly delighted to be able to direct our philanthropy to the first-rate history department at UCLA," said Anthea Case, C.B.E., the Arcadia Fund's principal adviser. "It is gratifying to know that the brilliant work of the department's faculty and graduate students will be better supported going forward."
Alessandro Duranti, dean of the UCLA Division of Social Sciences, praised Arcadia for its support of graduate students. "This landmark gift from the Arcadia Fund has a special meaning for our faculty because it recognizes the fundamental role played by our unsung heroes — the graduate students," he said. "These young scholars make up a huge part of our intellectual capital, and it is a great feeling to see their contributions recognized through this generous donation."
History professor and department chair David N. Myers said: "The Arcadia Fund's gift will have an enormous impact not only on our department's core missions of teaching and research but also on our ongoing efforts to infuse historical knowledge into the broader community. It is our hope that this gift will attract additional major philanthropic support as an investment in the future of historical study."
Myers added that the magnitude of Arcadia's investment is a testament to the excellence of the UCLA Department of History and the importance of history.
"This gift sends a powerful message that history is vital to understanding not only the past but the present, at UCLA and nationally," he said. "In fact, through this gift, the Arcadia Fund has become a champion of current and future history students everywhere."
The Arcadia endowment comes at a time of increasing need. Per-student state support to UCLA has been cut in half over the past 10 years as the university vies with other top-tier public and private universities — many with much larger endowments — for the best faculty and graduate students.
To ensure excellence and access in the future, UCLA is developing new funding models and revenue-generating strategies and is enhancing efficiencies. These efforts include strengthening philanthropic partnerships and growing UCLA's total endowment to draw and support top faculty and students.
The Arcadia Fund, a philanthropic foundation established in 2001, works to protect endangered treasures of culture and nature. Since its inception, it has awarded grants in excess of $216 million. Arcadia has a history of support for education and research and has provided generous support across the UCLA campus, including to the UCLA Library, the Division of Social Sciences, the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and the International Institute. For more information, visit
UCLA is California's largest university, with an enrollment of nearly 38,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The UCLA College of Letters and Science and the university's 11 professional schools feature renowned faculty and offer 337 degree programs and majors. UCLA is a national and international leader in the breadth and quality of its academic, research, health care, cultural, continuing education and athletic programs. Six alumni and five faculty have been awarded the Nobel Prize.
The UCLA Department of History is one of the nation's largest and most highly acclaimed history departments, with 65 core faculty and thousands of students in the major. The department is committed to the study of historical knowledge and its application to society's most pressing issues through cutting-edge research, teacher education programs, and extensive lectures and symposia that are open and accessible to a general audience. Long recognized for its range and depth, the department cultivates in students the critical thinking skills that allow for informed participation in an ever-changing global landscape.
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