Private contributions to UCSC rise 10 percent

Private donors gave nearly $22 million to UC Santa Cruz during the 2010-11 year, increasing their giving in the wake of state budget cuts to the university. During a year in which state support for UCSC declined by $31 million, total giving to the campus jumped nearly 10 percent— from just over $20 million in 2009-10 to $21.9 million in 2010-2011.

UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal said he was heartened by this year’s increase in giving. "This outpouring of support makes me even more optimistic about the campus’s future," he said. “Private giving is more important than ever, and these gifts make a real difference to our students, our programs, and our research endeavors."


  • Contributions from parents of current and former students increased from $718,000 to $998,000.
  • Contributions from faculty increased from $575,000 to $1.76 million.
  • The total number of alumni gifts increased from 3,299 to 3,574.
  • Gifts included $940,404 in realized bequests.
  • Contributions for student support rose from $1.6 million to $2.8 million, an increase of almost 300 people who designated their gifts for student support.
  • Total unrestricted giving rose from just over $1 million last year to $1.2 million this year.

Major Gifts

Some of the largest individual donations this year came from philanthropists Jack and Peggy Baskin, who pledged $1 million to the Jack Baskin and Peggy Downes Baskin Fellowships for engineering students; Deborah Seymour, who gave $500,000 to the Seymour Marine Discovery Center Endowment, in celebration of the center’s 10th anniversary; and the W.M. Keck Foundation, which gave $1 million to UCSC's Electrical Engineering Department. In addition, the Hellman Fellows Fund pledged $625,000 to establish a Hellman Fellows Program, which will provide research support to junior faculty in all fields of study.

New Avenues for Private Giving

  • Remembering Gabe Zimmerman: Over 450 donations ranging from $10 to $5,000 poured into UCSC to honor alumnus Gabe Zimmerman, 30, a congressional staffer killed in the January shooting spree that wounded his boss, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz. A fundraising effort, begun by two UCSC graduates days after Zimmerman’s death and enhanced by social media such as Facebook, quickly raised over $50,000 to fund an endowed scholarship in Zimmerman’s name. UCSC alumni made forty percent of those gifts; the cause attracted many new donors, most of whom used the campus’s improved online donation system.
  • Student Donors: UCSC student groups continued to support the campus. The Senior Class of 2011 raised money for a student-controlled legacy gift and for the first time, awarded four scholarships from the money they raised, demonstrating how students are helping other students.
  • Planned Giving: A substantial $7.3 million, not included in UCSC's overall giving total, was pledged in planned gifts. Twelve new individuals revealed their plans for including the campus in their estate plans and ten members of the 21st Century Club, UCSC's legacy society, shared details of their bequest intentions. In addition, two irrevocable charitable gift annuities were created.

Celebrating 45 Years

Campus milestones also motivated donors. “Forty-five years after our first students arrived, UCSC has matured into one of the world's great universities while retaining the fundamental character envisioned by its founders," said Blumenthal. This year also marked the 30th anniversary of Shakespeare Santa Cruz and the 25th anniversary of UCSC’s famous banana slug mascot.

"Gifts from alumni and from our own faculty and staff are making an important impact at UC Santa Cruz this year," said Donna Murphy, vice chancellor of University Relations at UCSC. "The gifts not only strengthen our programs. They also are a dramatic statement of the importance of the work and educational opportunities the campus provides."

"This campus is rich with programs that benefit society as well as programs that give our students exceptional opportunities to create knowledge and to learn," Murphy added.  “Every gift is a vote of confidence and makes a lasting difference."