Every student comes to UC Merced with a dream. Whether it is to become an engineer, a teacher, a lawyer or a veterinarian, students come to gain a University of California education and aspire to make a difference when they leave.
Since 2002, regional leaders, faculty, staff, alumni and friends have supported those aspirations by being part of the university's annual giving society - the Chancellor's Associates .
Annual donors like Chancellor's Associates are the heart of UC Merced. Their contributions provide an important source of unrestricted funds that enable the campus to enhance the educational experience for students by providing scholarships, developing academic programs and exposing them to cutting-edge technology.
Loyal annual donors provide the kind of philanthropy that enables UC Merced to reach its goals and strive for even greater achievements, said Chancellor Steve Kang . These special alumni and friends understand that tuition and state funding cover only a fraction of UC Merced's expenses.
UC Merced contributes rich resources to the region and in return benefits from the support and engagement of the community. This reciprocal relationship is realized with each and every Chancellor's Associates donor.
Founding Chancellor's Associates Curtis and Gaye Riggs have supported UC Merced since 2002.
Chancellor's Associates has given us the opportunity to stay close to the happenings of the university and to support its relationships with the community, said Gaye Riggs, assistant superintendent of Early Care and Education for the Merced County Office of Education. We understand how our financial support provides the chancellor with discretionary funds that will help UC Merced compete with other major research universities in the country.
Chancellor's Associates, like the Riggs, receive special privileges:
True to UC Merced's grassroots nature, Chancellor's Associates are as diverse as the students who attend the university. In addition to longtime community and campus advocates, the membership roster includes staff, faculty, and even their families and friends. Despite the differences in background and profession, all members understand one thing: Their support is essential for UC Merced to thrive.
I grew up in nearby Mariposa and feel lucky to have a world-class research institution in my own back yard, said cognitive scientist  Teenie Matlock , who is a founding faculty member in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts . It's rewarding to know that I am doing something right now that will benefit the campus for years to come.
The Chancellor's Pioneers are a dedicated group of young alumni who also support the campus by giving to the Chancellor's Associates each year.
Joining the Chancellor's Pioneers has allowed me to take a higher degree of ownership in my alma mater's success, and to meet members of the community with similar interests, said Joshua Bolin, Class of 2008.The most successful campuses, in virtually every sense of the word, are those whose alumni and surrounding community give back.
Each year, Chancellor's Associates and Chancellor's Pioneers show a continuing commitment to UC Merced by providing loyal support that makes an immense impact on UC Merced and the students and communities it serves.
If you live in the Fresno area and are interested in joining the Fresno Regional Chancellor's Associates , the first regional event will be hosted by Baker Manock and Jensen at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 30.
All Chancellor's Associates members are invited to attend the annual holiday reception Dec. 3 at UC Merced. The evening will feature a special presentation by founder of Roots of Peace Heidi Kuhn. Roots of Peace is a California-based nonprofit organization dedicated to turning fields of land mines into productive agricultural use.
For more information, or to RSVP for either event, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 228-RSVP.