The University of California San Diego announced that the Campaign for UC San Diego has achieved its $2 billion fundraising goal three years early. The university is the youngest in the nation to have surpassed a $2 billion fundraising goal. As of July 24, 2019, the campus raised $2.04 billion through donations from 135,367 unique donors with gifts ranging from $10 to over $100 million. Of the total donors, 95,000 were new to UC San Diego, and more than 250 gave $1 million or more in support of the campaign.
“UC San Diego has achieved our $2 billion milestone three years early—but we are not yet finished,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Our 135,000 donors have created a powerful community that is driving fundraising momentum, and propelling us to continue our efforts to the planned conclusion of the campaign in 2022.”
Launched in 2012, the three priority areas for the 10-year, $2 billion comprehensive fundraising effort include student support and success, campus and community, and research and innovation.
Many of the largest gifts, as well as the highest percentage of dollars (67%), were directed to the research and innovation priority. Of the total dollars given:
$1.36 billion was designated by donors for research and innovation; $454 million was given to enrich the campus and community;
$210 million was directed to fund student support and success;
and $19.3 million went to support other areas.
More than 430 unique areas on campus have been impacted through campaign gifts, including the Chancellor’s Associates Scholars Program, funded in part by donations from Chancellor’s Associates, a loyal network of UC San Diego alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends, connected by their dedication to proactive philanthropy.
Chancellor’s Associates Scholar Maria Triplett, a junior majoring in public health, grew up in southeast San Diego in a single-parent household. “Being first-generation, the scholarship has provided me with the opportunity to go to college and my family is able to experience my college experience with me,” Triplett said. “My niece and nephews can see that this is an additional route and that it’s attainable. I think overall it’s helped bring a new experience and pathway into my family and that’s what I love.”
Donors gave over $1 billion to support UC San Diego Health and medical education. After living with high-grade, stage IV pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer for more than three years, Tamara Strauss enrolled in a first-of-its-kind, pilot study at Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health to test a personalized vaccine using her unique cancer mutations to boost an anti-tumor immune response. Tamara’s parents, Iris and Matthew Strauss, donated $1 million to help launch the clinical trial, hoping that a breakthrough treatment could help patients like their daughter beat their disease.
Ezra Cohen, M.D., professor of medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine and co-lead of the trial, said, “Funding science that is this new, this innovative is challenging, but they recognize that this may be a paradigm shift for the way we treat cancer and the way we view cancer in the future.”
Since the launch of the campaign in 2012, UC San Diego has achieved record-breaking fundraising totals each year. Donors have established 92 endowed faculty chairs to date; and gifts above $10 million—especially critical in the campus fundraising effort—accounted for nearly 40% of all dollars raised in the campaign.
Alumni have played a key role in the campaign’s success. Over half of the 101 members of the Campaign for UC San Diego cabinet are alumni. The campus community was also an important partner in helping to reach the $2 billion milestone. In May 2019, faculty, staff, students and alumni participated in UC San Diego’s first Giving Day, raising $662,156 from 3,523 gifts.
“The Campaign for UC San Diego is already transforming the university physically, intellectually and culturally,” said Khosla. “In seven years, we have expanded college access and affordability for underserved students, initiated campuswide interdisciplinary research initiatives to foster collaboration and solve societal challenges, and strengthened university and community partnerships to drive regional impact.
“With the three years remaining, imagine how many more innovators we can inspire, cures we can discover, and communities we can build with continued support,” he added.
Visit the Campaign for UC San Diego website at campaign.ucsd.edu/milestone to learn more.