Campaign update

The Campaign for UC Santa Cruz


Christopher LaRose, Farm apprentice program graduate, 2009 (photo by Elena Zhukova)

UC Santa Cruz had its biggest fundraising year on record in the past fiscal year, during which it publicly launched its first comprehensive fundraising campaign. Private giving to the campus topped $50 million for the year ending June 30, bringing the total raised in The Campaign for UC Santa Cruz to more than $180 million. The campaign is adding essential resources throughout the university and to key initiatives supporting the student experience, coastal sustainability, data sciences, the Institute of the Arts and Sciences, and the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute. 

Nurturing sustainable agriculture

A $4 million gift to UC Santa Cruz established an endowment to support the Farm and Garden apprenticeship, an internationally recognized program that provides training in the concepts and practices of organic gardening and small-scale farming.

The gift, from a donor who chooses to remain anonymous, will be used to ensure the long-term viability of the apprenticeship program and other related training programs at the UC Santa Cruz Farm and Alan Chadwick Garden, where the program is based.

The apprenticeship is one of the core programs of the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS), which has earned a reputation for the skill and knowledge of its instructors and researchers for more than four decades. Building resources for CASFS is a key goal of the Coastal Sustainability initiative in the Campaign for UC Santa Cruz. The initiative is a cross-disciplinary effort to restore and sustain the health of the coastal zone. Agricultural practices have major impacts on the health of oceans and marine life.

The apprenticeship blends the virtues of experiential learning with traditional classroom studies. It has trained more than 1,500 organic farmers. Topics covered during the six-month course include soil management, composting, pest control, crop planning, irrigation, farm equipment, marketing techniques, and Community Supported Agriculture practices.

The gift coincides with the launch of the UC Global Food Initiative, which recognizes the unique ability of the University of California to play a leading role in addressing the challenges of nutrition and sustainability.

Among other gifts

A $1 million gift from alumna Julie Packard (Crown '74, biology (BA), MA biology '78), executive director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, supports programs that help minority students excel in the sciences and mathematics. Says Packard: "I want to help ensure that underrepresented students in the sciences are able to enjoy the same opportunities at UC Santa Cruz that I did."

Campaign progress

Now at $180 million 

The Campaign for UC Santa Cruz seeks to build resources across campus and in signature initiatives. Publicly launched in October 2013, its goal is to raise $300 million by the end of the campaign to enhance UC Santa Cruz's extraordinary educational environment, high-impact research, and enduring commitment to social and environmental responsibility. 

Learn more:

Questions about ways to give:

(831) 459-2501