Private donors step forward; giving up by 25 percent

Private donors gave $31.6 million to UC Santa Cruz during the 2007-08 academic year, a 25 percent increase over the previous year.

Given in support of a wide range of campus activities, the private support included $8.5 million toward ongoing research in marine science from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

UCSC is on the forefront of marine science research and education. Set on the edge of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the nation's largest marine sanctuary, the campus provides students and scientists who seek to study the ocean and its life a unique opportunity to pursue their dreams and ambitions.

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation's support included a four-year, $3.7 million grant awarded in June to Jonathan Zehr, professor of ocean sciences at UCSC. The grant funds Zehr's ongoing research as a Moore Foundation Investigator in Marine Science. Earlier in the year, the foundation provided a $4.8 million award for the marine microbiology research facility that Zehr oversees. Both grants are renewals of earlier awards made as part of the Moore Foundation's Marine Microbiology Initiative, which aims to discover important new knowledge about the distribution, function, and ecological role of marine microbes.

Other donations in the year that ended June 30 supported UCSC's innovative health sciences major and the expansion of McHenry Library, and funded scholarships that open the door to promising students in need of financial assistance.

"Every gift enhances our ability to educate students who, side by side with our faculty, are seeking solutions to the challenges facing the world," said UC Santa Cruz Chancellor George R. Blumenthal. "We are enormously grateful to our many donors for supporting our academic initiatives and service to our community."

One such challenge is the lack of health care available in many of California's emerging communities. At UCSC, health sciences students pursuing careers in medicine or biomedical research are encouraged to use their education to provide health care for those who need it most. UCSC's undergraduate major in health sciences requires that students become proficient in Spanish and participate in a community-oriented internship program.

The program is one of the fastest-growing majors on campus and among the 10 most popular majors at UCSC despite only being established in 2003.

To further encourage UCSC's medical school-bound alumni to provide health care to California's underserved populations, two local health-care organizations-Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center and Central Coast Alliance for Health-sponsored the Primary Care Physician Award. Providing students with $10,000 scholarships, the award supports graduates of the health sciences program who plan to focus on primary-care medicine and intend to practice medicine on the Central Coast after completing medical school.

UCSC donors supporting McHenry Library provided $4.8 million toward the library's renovation and doubled the size of the library's special collections with a gift from musical icons the Grateful Dead. In May, the library was awarded a $700,000 challenge grant from the Kresge Foundation toward construction and modernization. In order to receive the funds, the library must raise $3.5 million by October 1, 2009.

UCSC donors also established endowed funds in honor of faculty members J. Casey Moore and the late Stanley Flatté. And donors endowed the Page and Eloise Smith Scholastic Society Fund, which provides scholarships and other support to undergraduate students without families of their own.

Annual Giving programs at UCSC raised $2.37 million, including $560,000 from alumni and $447,000 from parents.