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UC Merced Fundraising Hits a High Note

August 11, 2006


UC Merced Fundraising Goes Beyond Expectations

Gifts top $19 million for the year




MERCED – The University of California, Merced, raised
$19.6 million this fiscal year – quadruple last year’s
total.



Included in this year’s donations:



* $5 million from United Health Foundation to develop
medical-education and health-sciences programs, putting UC Merced
firmly on the path to a medical school.

* $1.3 million campaign for the recreation center’s
expansion. During the university’s first capital fundraising
drive, hundreds of donors offered gifts ranging from$50 to
$500,000.

* $1 million from Hanford cardiologist Dr. Rajender Reddy and
his wife, Jhansi, for the Rajender Reddy Student Health Center
inside the Joseph Edward Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center,
scheduled to open this fall.

* $1,050,000 for the Bizzini Endowed Chair in systems
biology, which will help build the medical-education
program’s foundation.

* $1 million from Drs. Mahdu Kris and Vijaya Tangella, in
honor of their parents. Part of the money will start a scholarship
fund for high-achieving students from Merced County.

* $500,000 from Elizabeth and Joel Wallace, who chose to put
their name on the campus dining room, now known as The
Yablokoff-Wallace Dining Commons.

* $500,000 from Sherrie Spendlove-Gallo to create the Alice
and Clifford Spendlove Prize in Social Justice, Diplomacy and
Tolerance. The award, to be given annually by UC Merced, recognizes
a scholar, author, artist or citizen “who exemplifies in their work
the delivery of social justice, diplomacy and tolerance in the
diverse local and global society.” This year’s recipient is
Charles Ogletree, a noted author and law professor who was raised
in Merced.



When UC Merced opened its doors, more than 5,000 people from
all over the state showed their support for the newest UC campus by
witnessing pioneer class members cross the Scholars’ Lane
Bridge and officially become Bobcats.



That support hasn’t waned as 462 private donors, from
individuals to corporations and foundations, stepped forward to
help shape the campus’s future. Additional major gifts are
funding cooperative laboratories, scholarships and other efforts
around the campus. This year’s total brings UC Merced to more
than $60 million since it began accepting gifts in 1998.



“;The people of California’s Central Valley have been
incredibly supportive of UC Merced in our first year,”; said John
Garamendi Jr., Vice Chancellor for University Relations. “;Our
donors have made contributions at unprecedented levels, and we are
forever grateful for their support.”;



Garamendi attributed the successful year to the
university’s opening, and the achievement of the long-held
dream of a UC campus in the Central Valley.



“;It’s the fulfillment of a promise,”; he said.



The university is working to build strong alumni relations
with current students, too, recognizing that alumni support is an
important part of the future. The UC system raises about $1 billion
annually.



The first Bobcats to graduate this spring are already showing
their commitment to the future by joining the Alumni Association,
which now has 100 percent membership – all three graduates
are participating and have made donations to the campus.



“;UC Merced has much to celebrate, from its pioneering
students and the campus growth, to the research our faculty members
are conducting,”; said Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey. “;We also
have reason to celebrate our supporters and friends, who make so
much of what’s happening here possible. We enthusiastically
thank them for their gifts.”;