UC Merced Fundraising Hits a High Note

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.";

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