The Campaign for UC Santa Cruz


Moment of truth

Approaching age 50, UC Santa Cruz seized its future with three bold decisions:

It charted an ambitious course to accelerate the impact of its excellence.

It challenged alumni, friends, and the community to become stronger partners.

And it embraced the things that make it such a powerful force for change in the world—its fearless questioning of the status quo in pursuit of the greater good.

The result is The Campaign for UC Santa Cruz—GIVE, Don't Give In—the university's first comprehensive fundraising campaign. In support of a strategic vision for UCSC's future, the $300 million campaign is publicly launching with $146 million already contributed through strong support from alumni and friends.

"We were founded on a promise to the people of California to use our unique educational experience and world-class research to develop the big ideas, to question, to be bold in seeking solutions," says UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal. "This campaign is about fulfilling that promise."

The campaign builds on core strengths of the university: an extraordinary undergraduate experience, high-impact research, and commitment to environmental and social responsibility.

"The time is right for UC Santa Cruz to take things to the next level," says Paul Hall (Merrill '72), president of the UC Santa Cruz Foundation Board of Trustees, and a campaign leader.

"The campus is at the level of maturity not just in age but in terms of development of programs that makes this the right time for a campaign," he says. "We have a great number of programs that make huge contributions, ones richly deserving of support."


Signature initiatives

The campaign seeks support for signature initiatives in genomics, coastal sustainability, data science, and the arts. It will enhance the undergraduate experience that is a hallmark of UCSC, and excellence across all academic divisions. Undergraduate and graduate scholarships, endowed support for academic programs and faculty positions, and naming opportunities for facilities are included in the portfolio of giving opportunities.

"It's not just the right time, it's about time," says Linda Peterson (Stevenson

'70), a UCSC trustee and chair of the Campaign Steering Committee. "We've been too shy too long. "We have reasons to be out there, to be proud of who we are and proud of what we've accomplished," continues Peterson. "We can't assume others will spread the word or provide the funding. Each of us needs to do our part."

Campaign volunteers have hosted events throughout California, in New York, and in other select areas to share UCSC's progress and the opportunities the campaign provides to extend the campus's impact and important contributions.

"To the degree the campaign is fruitful, it will give us the resources to take us to the next level on matters of great importance to the state, the country, and the world," says Hall.


Funding shift

Funding of public universities in California and elsewhere has changed significantly in recent decades. In 1991, the state of California funded 50 percent of the UCSC budget; today it accounts for just 20 percent. The difference has meant that the cost to students to attend has steadily climbed to its current $13,416 in annual tuition and fees, plus housing and other expenses.

"As a student, I assumed that UCSC would always be taken care of, but I didn't think about how that would happen," says Peterson. "My friends and I didn't think about being alums, about the importance of continual involvement in the university. We were not aware what a difference donors make in all great universities."

Keeping UCSC's core strong, and  elevating support in areas where it  already has global impact, will require  ongoing and major investment, says Peterson.

"We compete for the best and brightest—faculty, students, grants, everything," she says. "It takes money. We can't stand still."


Increased support

By the end of the campaign, the university expects to have doubled the level of annual private contributions to UCSC. Achieving and maintaining increased levels of support is a key outcome for campaigns, and why they are so significant in the long term.

The university began intensive planning for the campaign several years ago and, together with donors and volunteers, secured leadership gifts over the past four years to set the pace and determine the campaign scope.

More than 63,000 gifts of every size have been made since counting toward the campaign began in July 2009. Among major gifts:

The Helen and Will Webster Foundation, $5 million toward rebuilding the historic hay barn on South Campus into a home for sustainability studies.

Two new faculty chairs, the Narinder Kapany Professorship in Entrepreneurship and the Dorothy E. Everett Chair in Global Information and Social Entrepreneurship.

$3 million in commitments toward rebuilding the marine mammal research pools and expanding classrooms on the Coastal Campus.

A gift of $1 million by Rowland and Patricia Rebele will jumpstart efforts to build the new Institute of the Arts and Sciences.


Student experience

Because the experience of undergraduates is so vital to the mission of UCSC—nearly 90 percent of the 16,770 students enrolled are undergrads—much of the campaign will focus on ensuring that experience is supported and developed.

"Students leave UCSC as engaged members of their communities, determined to make a difference in the lives of others," says Alison Galloway, UCSC provost and executive vice chancellor. "It's a profound result. They've developed a real passion for each other. Not just for their friends and classmates, but they've developed a passion for humanity."

Students' experiences in the residential colleges, in hands-on learning, in opportunities to become leaders all contribute to the process. Bringing new resources to the colleges and to programs that directly affect students is a vital part of the university's future and the campaign.

"One of the things currently missing from our campus is a place for large groups of people to come together as a community," Galloway says. It is why she has made the reopening of the Quarry Amphitheater at the center of campus one of her priorities in the campaign.

Blumenthal says the campaign provides an extraordinary opportunity for alumni to reflect on what UCSC has meant to them in their lives and to engage with their alma mater.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to be part of something very special," he says. "This is truly a moment for UC Santa Cruz."


To learn more about the campaign and giving opportunities, please visit

Questions about ways to give:


Call: (831) 459-2501