Centennial Campaign for UCLA

UCLA raises $650 million and receives record number of million-dollar gifts in 2016-17

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Playroom at UCLA Mattel
UCLA Health

The $50 million gift from Mattel will fund an expansion of UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and help establish a world-class pediatric care center.

UCLA raised $650 million in gifts and pledges and established a number of noteworthy campus fundraising records in its most recent fiscal year. Among the highlights are the largest corporate gift received in UCLA history, a record number of gifts of $1 million or more and the largest number of gifts from young alumni.

Last fiscal year, which closed on June 30, nearly 60,000 donors gave to UCLA to support a variety of priorities, including undergraduate scholarships, endowed professorships and graduate student fellowships.

This past year also marked the beginning of the second half of the Centennial Campaign for UCLA, which will conclude in 2019 during UCLA’s 100th anniversary year. In all, donors from every state in the nation and donors from 60 countries made a total of 75,870 gifts to the university. Approximately 95 percent of the gifts and pledges received were for less than $10,000. As of June 30, 80 percent of the campaign’s $4.2 billion goal had been reached.

“As we approach our centennial, philanthropy continues to play a significant role in helping us achieve our vision for a stronger, more accessible and increasingly impactful UCLA,” said Rhea Turteltaub, vice chancellor for external affairs. “The campus is one of the nation’s leading public universities and our supporters recognize the innate value of UCLA’s commitment to serve society in myriad ways.”

The largest single gift of the 2016–17 fiscal year came from Mattel, Inc., which committed $50 million to UCLA Health to fund an expansion of UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and help establish a world-class pediatric care center and research hub focused on improving children’s health. This donation from Mattel — the largest ever made to UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and UCLA’s largest ever corporate donation — will allow the hospital to create a “kids-only” system of care, ensuring the child’s experience remains the focus through facilities designed with patients and families in mind. In addition, the gift will help the hospital improve care; ensure that all staff is specialized in treating children; and better integrate play and health during treatment to comfort children.

In addition, the Hammer Museum at UCLA announced a major multi-year transformation plan that will renovate and expand its facility by the year 2020. Initial gifts in support of this effort boosted total fundraising for the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture to a record $75 million.

The Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies also experienced record breaking fundraising years, garnering $47 million and $21 million respectively.

Among the record 104 gifts and pledges of $1 million or more made to UCLA during the past fiscal year:

  • The UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science received a $20 million gift from the Samueli Foundation to help attract undergraduate students who are underrepresented in engineering and computer science. The donation, which builds on Henry and Susan Samueli’s previous gifts, will fund a new program combining scholarships and internships for as many as 50 freshmen annually.
  • The Rape Foundation’s donation of a 19,000-square-foot building valued at $12.2 million will help UCLA’s Stuart House expand its capacity to provide comprehensive service, advocacy and care to children who have experienced sexual abuse.
  • The UCLA School of Law received $5 million toward a previously announced $20 million commitment to launch the Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA School of Law, which will serve as a national hub for human rights education and advocacy. The donation is the largest gift to launch a new institute in the history of UCLA Law. The effort to establish the institute was spearheaded by Dr. Eric Esrailian, a faculty member at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and lead producer of the film “The Promise.”
  • The university also raised critical funds for undergraduate student scholarships, internship support and student affairs programs, among other needs, through the UCLA Chancellor’s Centennial Scholars Match program, which totaled $54. 7 million in 2016–17. During the 2017–18 fiscal year, the program will focus on generating support for graduate students and programs.

Alumni look ahead by giving back

UCLA graduates continue to play a critical role in the campus’s development efforts as they invest in the future of UCLA and its students, and affirm the power of private philanthropy. Last year, two of the largest gifts to the campus came from UCLA alumni Morton La Kretz and Meyer Luskin. La Kretz, who graduated in 1948, donated $5 million to renovate the entrances of the botany building and establish a student-faculty research laboratory. La Kretz has previously donated funds to enhance the Mildred E. Matthias Botanical Garden and create La Kretz Hall, which houses the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and was UCLA’s first “green” certified building.

Luskin, who graduated in 1949, gave $5 million to establish the Luskin Center for History and Policy, the first academic research center on the West Coast devoted to using history to publish knowledge that promotes solutions to present-day issues. Luskin and his wife, Renee, who graduated in 1953, are among UCLA’s most generous supporters.

Smaller gifts and pledges also make a difference to UCLA’s growth. Young alumni, defined as those who have graduated from UCLA in the past 10 years, play a key role in these efforts. Among the 5,800 gifts received from this population were those directed to the Chancellor’s Greatest Needs fund, the UCLA Depression Grand Challenge, needs-based scholarships and various academic departments, sports teams and funds.

Other young alumni gifts and pledges include a $250,000 donation to the Centennial Scholars Match program from Robert Karr, who graduated in 2008, and the Karr Family Foundation, to establish the Karr Family Centennial Scholars Endowed Scholarship. Karr and his family foundation also gave $35,000 to the Wooden Athletic Fund. Former Bruin defensive lineman Donovan Carter, who graduated in 2012, gave $15,000 to the Wasserman Football Center Fund. In addition, former Bruin cornerback Alterraun Verner, who graduated in 2011, also pledged $10,000 to support the fund.

Building UCLA’s future

The 2016–17 fiscal year was also marked by the opening of donor-supported facilities, including the Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center, which opened in August 2016; and Geffen Hall, which opened in January 2017 and is the new hub for medical education at UCLA named for entertainment executive and philanthropist David Geffen.

The current fiscal year, which began July 1 and runs through June 30, 2018, will be punctuated by the opening of several donor-supported spaces designed to foster excellence in academics and athletics.

In August, UCLA celebrated the opening of the Wasserman Football Center, a state-of-the-art football facility that houses locker rooms, a strength and conditioning center and training rooms, a players lounge, coaches’ offices, team meeting rooms, equipment rooms, video rooms and a recruiting lounge and outdoor terrace. The facility is named in recognition of support from the Wasserman Foundation and its president, UCLA alumnus Casey Wasserman.

In September, the Geffen Academy at UCLA, a school that provides a college prep education and aims to serve as a model for contemporary middle and high school education, welcomed students enrolled in grades 6, 7 and 9. The school will gradually grow to a community of roughly 600 students over the next four years.

On Oct. 26, the Mo Ostin Basketball Facility, a comprehensive state-of-the art basketball training and performance facility that will house the Bruins men’s and women’s basketball programs, will officially open. The building is named after legendary music industry executive and philanthropist Morris “Mo” Ostin, who generously committed $10 million to the project. This followed Ostin’s $10 million donation to UCLA in 2011 for the construction of the state-of-the-art Evelyn and Mo Ostin Music Center, which opened in 2014.

The Centennial Campaign executive committee is co-chaired by Anthony Pritzker and Garen Staglin. The campaign is led by Turteltaub and associate vice chancellors for development Kathryn Carrico and Laura Lavado Parker.

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