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Charitable Gifts, Private Grants to UC Merced Increase Sharply in 2007-08 Fiscal Year

August 13, 2008

Bob and Marie Gallo Foundation gift - a concert grand pianoMERCED - Despite a marked
downturn in statewide economic fortunes, charitable gifts and
private grants to the University of California, Merced during the
2007-08 fiscal year increased by more than 70 percent, to nearly
$10.6 million, the university said today (Aug. 13).

Approximately 950 individuals, corporations and charitable
foundations contributed to the total, the university said, up 23
percent compared to a year ago. The average gift per donor was
$11,156 while the largest was $2 million. The fiscal year ended
June 30.

“These donations are helping UC Merced pursue its vital mission
here in the Valley in many important ways. We are deeply grateful,”
said UC Merced Chancellor Steve Kang. “In today’s challenging
economic climate, we couldn’t be more pleased by the growing
generosity of the many individuals and organizations who support UC
Merced and want to contribute to its success.”

“Increasingly, universities must depend on private gifts to help
construct and furnish buildings, to provide scholarships, to
conduct research in the public interest and to supplement tight
operating budgets,” said Kang.

The largest single gift was provided by the California Community
Foundation, a philanthropic organization based in Los Angeles. The
foundation’s $2 million gift will help provide research
infrastructure, student support and other assistance to the
university’s Nonimaging Optics Laboratory, which conducts research
and develops technologies in the field of solar energy.

A sampling of other gifts includes:

* $1 million from the Pacific Gas and Electric Corporation
Foundation to support programs for student retention, recruitment
and service learning in the School of Engineering;

* $75,000 from Wells Fargo to provide scholarships for Central
Valley high-school and community college transfer students;

* $60,000 from the George and Judy Marcus Family Foundation to
support the UC Merced symposium on academic organizational
structure being planned for this fall;

* $50,000 from the Bob and Marie Gallo Foundation to help launch
the UC Merced music program and acquire a concert grand piano;

* $50,000 from the Robert J. Glushko & Pamela Samuelson
Foundation to support student participation in cognitive-science
conferences, to underwrite student awards for research excellence
and to fund a visitor program that will bring leading
cognitive-science scholars to campus each semester; and

* $6,000 from the Jane and Marc Nathanson Family Foundation to
underwrite the cost of applying for a broadcast license from the
Federal Communications Commission for the university’s first FM
radio station.

“Thoughtful and timely gifts can make an enormous difference in
the development of key programs and in the achievements of our
faculty and students,” said John Garamendi Jr., vice chancellor for
University Relations. “In a period of severe budget constraints
throughout the state and within the UC system, we are deeply
appreciative that so many individuals and organizations have chosen
to support UC Merced so generously.”

The $10.6 million gift total in 2007-08 brings the university’s
grand total since it began accepting gifts in 1998 to $62.9 million.

To learn more about supporting UC Merced visit