News & Events

Private Support for UC Davis Tops $70 Million for Fifth Year

University of California, Davis, News Service

October 22, 2004

Alumni, friends, corporations and philanthropic organizations contributed $73.4 million to UC Davis in fiscal year 2003-04, making it the fifth consecutive year in which private gifts have topped $70 million.

With only 26 percent of its budget coming from the state, UC Davis depends increasingly on gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations to maintain its edge as one of the nation's leading teaching and research universities. Such contributions provide financial resources for faculty recruitment, student support, campus facilities, academic programs and other priorities.

"The generous contributions from our donors are vital as we continue to provide enriching learning experiences and leadership opportunities for students, lead the world in new discoveries, and engage in the community around us," Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef said.

The largest portion of gifts received, about 37 percent, support research. Donors gave $26.8 million to research, including a $3 million gift from the West Sacramento-based firm DTL Mori Seiki Inc. to the College of Engineering. The largest cash gift ever made to the College of Engineering, it will support research in "smart" computer-run manufacturing and design tools, which is being spearheaded by Kazuo Yamazaki, a UC Davis professor of mechanical engineering.

"This support acknowledges the work done in Professor Yamazaki's lab, the high value that industry places on faculty research, and the excellence of UC Davis faculty," said Enrique Lavernia, dean of the College of Engineering.

Donors also made a big impact on student support, especially in the form of undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships. They gave UC Davis almost $7.5 million for student support and instruction, including $1.9 million from the estate of Gladys Smith for endowed scholarships and medical school fellowships.

Tammy Chan, a first-generation Chinese American and the first in her family to attend college, is studying biomedical engineering at UC Davis thanks to a scholarship funded by the Boyd Family Foundation. "The scholarship really helps because I didn't have to take out as much of a loan," says Chan, who hopes to help support her family financially once she earns her degree.

Donors also gave $11 million in departmental support. This included a $500,000 gift from Davis-based Novozymes Biotech Inc., a subsidiary of Novozymes A/S, the world's largest industrial enzyme developer. Novozymes Biotech, headed by UC Davis Foundation trustee Glenn Nedwin, established an endowed chair in genomics that will be filled by the director of the campus's new Genome Center.

"By supporting a base of intellectual achievement, you just enhance the good discoveries that come from it," Nedwin said.

Other major contributions included $1 million from the W.M. Keck Foundation to fund the Center for Active Visualization in the Earth Sciences; $1.4 million from the estate of Frances Lazda to support women's cardiovascular and urological health in the School of Medicine; $1.3 million from the estate of Natalie Fosse to the Department of Ophthalmology in the School of Medicine; $1 million from Susan Mathews to the UC Davis Cancer Center; and $1 million from Maxine Adler to support cancer research at the Center for Companion Animal Health in the School of Veterinary Medicine.

Adler established the DuBee Cancer Research Endowed Fund in memory of her cat, DuBee, whose cancer was treated at UC Davis. The fund provides annual research awards to faculty and residents whose work advances cancer treatment, prevention and diagnostic techniques.

"I often claim that losing DuBee was the worst thing that ever happened to me," Adler says. "But I'm happy that I can support research that is helping animals with cancer -- and even leading to discoveries that can help people."

All told, UC Davis received gifts from more than 51,000 donors in 2003-04. Corporations contributed $27 million, or 37 percent; non-alumni individuals gave $21.6 million or 29 percent; private foundations and other organizations contributed $22 million or 30 percent; and alumni gave $2.8 million or about 4 percent.

A number of UC Davis programs and units raised their gift levels significantly compared to the previous year. Gifts to the Division of Biological Sciences increased by 148 percent to $3.5 million. The College of Engineering nearly doubled its support, from $7 million in 2002-03 to just under $14 million in 2003-04, while the College of Letters and Science increased its gift total 28 percent to $3.3 million.

The UC Davis Health System led the campus in gift income, with $18.8 million, followed by the College of Engineering, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, with $12.5 million, and the School of Veterinary Medicine, with $11 million.

The UC Davis Annual Fund had a record-setting year, raising $1.6 million in unrestricted gifts. Unrestricted gifts give the university flexibility to respond to opportunities in a timely way and to meet priorities that are not covered by state funds alone, including aspects of faculty recruitment and retention, student financial aid and strategic planning.


Media contact(s):

* Lisa Lapin, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-9842
* Kelly Nimtz, Assistant Dean for Development, School of Veterinary Medicine, (530) 752-7024