Supporting campus goals, campus fundraising hits new record

Ruth Marion-Baruch photograph
Ruth Marion Baruch, Mother and Child, Free Huey Rally, 1968 (Black Panther series)
(Courtesy Special Collections, University Library, UC Santa Cruz, Pirkle Jones and Ruth-Marion Baruch Photography Collection)
The naming gift from the Helen and Will Webster Foundation to recognizes Rachel Carson for her courage and pivotal role in awakening the public to environmental issues.

With a new college endowment of $4.5 million, an acclaimed photography collection valued at $32 million, three endowed chairs, and nine gifts of $1 million or more, UC Santa Cruz marked a record year for fundraising.

The campus raised $75 million dollars—$68.2 million in outright gifts and pledges, and $7.1 million in planned gifts. Gifts and pledge payments totaled $69.2 million. These new commitments boost the Campaign for UC Santa Cruz total to $286 million.

“Our comprehensive fundraising campaign continues to bring in much-needed revenue for our key priorities while also instilling the campus and its supporters with a culture of philanthropy,” Chancellor George Blumenthal said. “It’s heartening to receive gifts big and small to support faculty, the student experience, and many other areas important to the campus mission.”

The college endowment from the Helen and Will Webster Foundation renamed College Eight in honor of Rachel Carson, the writer and conservationist widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement.

With matching funds from the UC Office of the President, additional gifts of $500,000 each from the Webster Foundation and alumnus Mark Headley and his wife, Christina Pehl, created two endowed chairs: the Robert Headley Presidential Chair for Integral Ecology and Environmental Justice, affiliated with Rachel Carson College and in honor of a longtime administrator at UCOP; and a Presidential Chair for the campus’ Science Communication Program, which has trained hundreds of professional science writers who’ve gone on to work at the New York Times, Nature, and other leading publications.

The Marin Community Foundation donated the Pirkle Jones and Ruth Marion-Baruch Photography Collection, including more than 12,000 prints, 25,000 negatives, and hundreds of framed prints that will be accessible to the public.

Foundations, the greatest source of funding in FY16, gave $51 million to the campus, 74 percent of all gifts and pledge payments; alumni and friends contributed $11 million or 16 percent; and corporations gave $6.8 million, 9.8 percent. Research gifts generated $13.5 million in revenue.

Significant gifts include:

  • $3.8 million bequest intention from a friend of the campus to support the Office of Physical Education, Recreation, and Sports dance program and for use at the chancellor’s discretion,
  • $2 million from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to launch a conservation scholars program to increase diversity in the field;
  • $1 million from alumnus and Chronicle Books CEO Nion McEvoy to support) programming for UC Santa Cruz’s Institute of the Arts and Sciences; and
  • $1 million grant from the Simons Foundation to support development of a comprehensive map of human genetic variation – a critical new resource for both medical research and basic research in the life sciences.

Additionally, the campus launched its first Giving Day event, which led to more than 3,000 gifts to provide $340,000 to 65 projects across campus.


The Campaign for UC Santa Cruz supports excellence across the university through increased private investment in the people and ideas shaping the future. It is bringing critical new resources to the student experience, excellence in research, and the campus commitment to environmental and social justice.