Campaign update

The Campaign for UC Santa Cruz. Give. Don't Give In


The late UC Santa Cruz professor Ken Norris points out a trap-door spider’s nest in the field for students in his Natural History of California class. (Photo by Tom O'Leary)

From on-the-ground work in environmental science to facilities that enrich student experiences, philanthropy at every level is bringing critical new resources to UC Santa Cruz.

The campus is reaching out to its alumni and others to increase private support with a goal of $300 million by the end of the campaign. Gifts and grants to date: $164 million.

Honoring Ken Norris

A $2 million gift from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation extends and honors the legacy of Kenneth S. Norris, a preeminent professor of natural history at UCSC. The gift will provide enduring support for the Natural History Field Quarter, an intensive and immersive field-based program in natural history that Norris founded, as well as funding for a center for natural history that will be named in Norris's honor. Both are based in the UCSC Environmental Studies Department.

Norris, an acclaimed marine mammal researcher and founder of the UC Natural Reserve System, established UCSC as a national leader in educating students who go on to become environmental leaders in conservation and stewardship of the planet. He retired in 1990, but remained active until shortly before his death in 1998.

As a teacher, Norris was legendary for his ability to inspire students. Beginning in 1973, each spring he led the two-dozen field quarter students into the mountains, forests, and deserts of California to learn from nature firsthand. More than 1,000 students have taken the field quarter; in 2012, 500 of them returned to campus to celebrate its impact on their lives.

The current UCSC Museum of Natural History Collections will be the foundation for the new Norris Center for Natural History. The collection includes more than 125,000 specimens of plants, fungi, lichen, marine algae, insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. It supports hands-on laboratory and field activities for more than 20 undergraduate classes, serving 700 to 1,000 students per year. The center will support broader education and research activities across campus and in the Santa Cruz community.

Among other gifts:

From Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, a two-year $250,000 grant for childhood cancer research in support of Camilla Forsberg's work to identify the root cause of acute lymphocytic leukemia. Forsberg is an associate professor in biomolecular engineering and co-director of the UCSC Institute for the Biology of Stem Cells.

From alumnus Bill Hancock (Cowell '79, environmental planning), funding to jumpstart a feasibility study in support of reopening the Quarry Amphitheater. His ties to UCSC run deep: two siblings are also alumni.

About the campaign

Now at $164 million

Launched in October, The Campaign for UC Santa Cruz is comprehensive—it seeks to build resources all across campus and in signature initiatives. Its goal is to enhance UCSC's extraordinary educational environment, highimpact research, and deep commitment to social and environmental responsibility.

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Call: (831) 459-2501