Robert and Kelly Day have donated $30 million to endow the UCLA Department of Surgery through The UCLA Foundation. The combined gift, made through two family foundations, establishes the Robert and Kelly Day Surgical Endowment, which will greatly enhance the surgical research, teaching and patient care mission of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
According to Dr. Gerald S. Levey, UCLA vice chancellor for medical sciences and dean of the Geffen School, the gift will give UCLA a competitive edge in attracting the most promising surgical scholars.
"The Days' outstanding gift will enhance UCLA's contribution to the health and well-being of our society for decades to come," he said.
"Two years ago, the surgical team at UCLA performed a liver transplant that saved my life," Robert Day said. "We are making this gift to enable these extraordinary people to advance their lifesaving work. The UCLA Department of Surgery is among the best in the nation and has the potential to affect so many lives in a positive way. We are very pleased to be making this investment in our community's future."
The Robert and Kelly Day Surgical Endowment will help fund a UCLA Surgical Endowment Fund initiative spearheaded by Dr. Ronald Busuttil, executive chair of the surgery department, to raise $50 million to provide funds for education programs that train future surgeons, the recruitment and retention of faculty, the provision of state-of-the-art surgical equipment, and research projects that allow surgeons to pursue new discoveries in surgery.
In addition, the donation will establish four Robert and Kelly Day chairs in the surgery department — in cardiothoracic surgery, general surgery, liver transplantation and surgical outcomes.
"We are grateful to Robert and Kelly for their incredible generosity," Busuttil said. "This endowment will allow us to maintain our leadership position in research, education and the development of surgical innovations. This support clearly demonstrates the degree to which they share our vision for the future."
Robert Day is founder and chairman of the TCW Group Inc., an investment management firm based in Los Angeles with more than $150 billion in assets under management, and is chairman, president and chief executive officer of the W.M. Keck Foundation, one of the nation's largest philanthropic organizations, with assets of more than $1.5 billion. He is a director of both the French bank Socit Gnrale and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., a member of the board of governors of the Broad Foundations, and a former chairman of the board of trustees of Claremont McKenna College.
Day recently gave $200 million to Claremont McKenna College. He has made this gift to UCLA through two family foundations and not through the W.M. Keck Foundation.
The UCLA Department of Surgery currently has 140 full-time faculty participating in teaching, research and clinical practice activities at UCLA and its major affiliated hospitals, 250 voluntary faculty, 13 fellows, 133 residents and 405 staff members. Additionally, more than 300 medical students are trained each year in the department's 10 surgical divisions. For more information, visit www.surgery.ucla.edu.