With $512 million in gifts and pledges, UCLA reached historic fundraising heights for the fiscal year ending June 30. The amount is UCLA's largest ever for a single fiscal year, surpassing the previous high of $509 million, set in 2001–02.
A total of 57,945 donors made 79,764 gifts and pledges to UCLA during the period, helping UCLA surpass its ambitious $500 million goal.
The largest single donation for the year was entertainment executive and philanthropist David Geffen's extraordinary gift of $100 million to establish the David Geffen Scholarship Fund at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. The scholarship fund covers the entire cost of education for UCLA's very best medical students. Its intent is to ensure that students graduate from medical school debt-free, enabling them to pursue lifesaving research and patient care without the economic burdens that restrict the choices of many young physicians and scientists.
Several other areas of campus received significant donations, including a transformative $5 million gift from alumnus David Mong to the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, and a landmark $5 million gift from philanthropists Mick and Mary Dragoo to the UCLA School of Dentistry to establish a periodontal and implant clinical research and patient care center in their names.
The UCLA Department of History’s largest gift ever, $10 million in endowed funds from the Arcadia Fund, will be used to attract and support top graduate students, and to advance departmental priorities. UCLA's Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden received a $1 million gift from Morton La Kretz, a UCLA alumnus, for a new entrance and other improvements.
"Our alumni and friends step forward time and again to support UCLA's leadership and mission," said Steve Gamer, associate vice chancellor of development and executive director of The UCLA Foundation. "This year's gifts — both large and small — demonstrate their continued confidence in and commitment to UCLA."
Of the total, $18.8 million was unrestricted giving, an increase of 16 percent increase from 2011–12. Unrestricted gifts are significant because they provide campus leaders with flexibility to address specific needs and meet pressing campus priorities, Gamer said.
Rhea Turteltaub, UCLA's vice chancellor for external affairs, said the achievement is a critical step in ensuring that UCLA continues to thrive well into its second century.
"The year's fundraising success accelerated our progress toward expanding the campus culture of philanthropy," Turteltaub said, adding that it also provides significant momentum as UCLA plans a new centennial fundraising campaign.
"As our funding model necessarily shifts, we must continue to provide access to a top-flight education, conduct groundbreaking research and serve as a public resource by addressing the great challenges facing our society," she said. "Alumni, parents, friends, students, faculty, staff, and civic and business leaders all play integral parts in our philanthropic success. This year's gift total represents a confident step by the whole UCLA family toward a more self-reliant future."