UCSD to seek increase in private donations

    In response to state cutbacks to the UC budget and with the backing of Chancellor Robert C. Dynes, UCSD has embarked on a fundraising initiative aimed at raising private money to increase student support, scholarships, fellowships and faculty-endowed chairs, among other things.

    The initiative, which is still in its planning stages, will seek out financial support from such private sources as individuals, organizations, corporations and alumni. It is currently expected to begin this spring.

    Private support at UCSD is not a new venture. Both the Preuss School and the Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center were financed using private donations.

    “”The last two years, it’s been a lot more active,”” said Karen M. Gajewski, director of development communications.

    The year-end private support total for UCSD in 2002 was about $100.4 million. Similar to trends for private donations to universities nationwide, this number is down over the past two years, when support reached $121 million in 2001 and $135 million in 2000.

    According to fact sheets prepared by the UC Office of the President, UCSD’s endowment is valued at $274 million, making it the system’s fifth largest. UC Berkeley’s endowment, which is the largest in the system, is about $1.953 billion, while UCLA’s, the system’s second largest, is $1.39 billion. UC Riverside has the smallest endowment, valued at $70 million.

    Perhaps the biggest change from past models of fundraising is the increasing importance of alumni to the university. Although just a portion of the campaign, UCSD has begun reconnecting with its comparatively young pool of alumni to solicit various means of support, including the financial support enjoyed by older, comparable institutions.

    In his third State of the Campus address on Nov. 26, 2002 at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the chancellor said that UCSD needed to reach out to its alumni, since many alumni do not feel attached to UCSD.

    “”We have to change that, if nothing more than for the philanthropy that most other universities in the country experience from their alumni, which we do not,”” Dynes said.

    Gajewski said that in terms of the current fundraising initiative, alumni giving would begin to be a more long-term project.

    “”It’s kind of something that’s in long-term planning,”” Gajewski said. “”Our alumni are still kind of young.””

    Founded in 1960, UCSD matriculated its first class in 1964.

    However, Gajewski said that UCSD seeks to build a relationship with its alumni beyond simple financial support.

    Nevertheless, financial support is important to universities like UCSD, which is state-supported but not state-financed, said John Valva, director of alumni relations.

    “”Private funding is a necessary part of a growing university,”” Valva said. “”We’re just now starting to see some inroads in terms of alumni support.””

    For the long-term benefit of both UCSD and alumni, Valva said his office seeks to build a deeper, more lasting relationship with alumni.

    “”We’re one big community,”” Valva said. “”There’s only one thing alumni have in common, and that’s UCSD.””

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