Despite the country’s economic struggles and the COVID-19 pandemic, donors gave generously to the University of California San Diego in fiscal year 2019-2020. Philanthropic gifts and grants to fund a range of initiatives resulted in a record-breaking year for the Campaign for UC San Diego: $344.4 million was raised — the third consecutive year the university has generated over $300 million in private support — bringing the campaign total through June 30, to $2.27 billion.
“In response to immediate and developing needs, donors stepped forward and gave more generously in 2019-20 to a range of areas than in past years,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “They gave to help UC San Diego advance health care and combat the pandemic. They gave to provide greater access to education for ambitious and talented students and to help provide basic needs for struggling students. And they gave to develop new student-centric programming as well as fund outstanding junior faculty as they grow their expertise.”
Of the $344 million in private support, $101 million was received by the university as private grants last year, including over $65 million designated to health sciences and $32 million to the general campus. Among the largest grantors were the Gates Foundation, giving nearly $18 million to help fund initiatives in health and social sciences; the Simons Foundation, giving over $10 million to physics and other areas; and West Health with over $4 million to fund emergency medicine.
In addition, charitable gifts comprised $243 million of the private support, of which $140 million was directed to health sciences; $78 million to the general campus, including Chancellor’s initiatives; $15 million to marine sciences; and $10 million to student affairs.
Pivotal support for outstanding early-career faculty was provided to UC San Diego through a $12 million grant from the Hellman Fellows Program to establish the Hellman Fellows Endowed Fund. Chancellor Khosla has committed $6 million as an institutional match for the endowment. Over 320 UC San Diego fellows in academic disciplines across all fields have received fellowships up to $65,000 since 1995, when the Hellman Fellows Fund was established by the Hellman family. The impetus for the program came when Frances Hellman, a junior faculty member herself at UC San Diego, experienced first-hand the challenges that faculty can experience early in their careers before their research can attract external support.
UC San Diego’s transition to NCAA Division 1 sports was an impetus for donors to give two of the largest gifts to Athletics this year, totaling $6 million. The move to Division I is a source of pride for our university—but also creates a critical need to raise scholarship funds for recruitment efforts. Per NCAA rules, a full scholarship can be the student’s cost of attendance at UC San Diego, estimated currently at $36,700 for California residents ($66,500 for non-California residents). The Big West Conference requires an institution to fund NCAA scholarship maximum limits for seven specific sports: Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Men’s and Women’s Soccer, Baseball, Softball and Women’s Volleyball.
Over $800,000 from Chancellor’s Associates—individuals who donate $2,500 or more to the university—was given to the Chancellor’s Associates Scholars Program, a mentorship and leadership development initiative that provides financial aid to support a student’s undergraduate degree. Donors were also inspired to give to an endowment challenge for the same program that will reinforce the university’s scholarship fund for decades to come. When launched in 2013, 42 students were awarded the scholarship. In fall 2020, UC San Diego expects to have more than 1,000 Chancellor’s Associates Scholars enrolled in the program that has grown from three local high schools to awardees from five local area high schools, select community-based organizations, three local area community colleges and members of federally recognized Native American tribes.
The year’s giving total includes $5.8 million contributed by donors from across campus, the community and the world to deploy UC San Diego’s response to COVID-19. This funding has secured personal protective equipment and other supplies for health care workers; expanded clinical testing; supported students and families displaced by the coronavirus; transitioned our campus to remote learning; and pursued novel research in subjects as diverse as clinical research, public health, economics and engineering.
Khosla added, “2020 has been a year of unprecedented global challenges. As we continue to adapt to these changes, we remain committed to growing and developing our research infrastructure, committed to our educational programming and dynamic collaborative environment, and committed to forging a more equitable path forward for our campus, community and world.”
All private support contributes to the Campaign for UC San Diego—a university-wide comprehensive fundraising effort concluding in 2022. Alongside UC San Diego’s philanthropic partners, the university is continuing its nontraditional path toward revolutionary ideas, unexpected answers, lifesaving discoveries and planet-changing impact. To learn more about supporting UC San Diego, visit the Campaign for UC San Diego.