UCI raises a record half-a-billion dollars
The total raised breaks all university fundraising records, and serves as a significant vote of community confidence in the leadership of UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman, who has put UCI on expansion mode while also making financial sustainability parts of the school’s strategic plan.
When Gillman spoke during last year’s 50th anniversary celebrations (and he spoke often), he made the point that the school’s brilliant future would include an increased focus on community partnerships and entrepreneurial fundraising. Where once the state of California provided much of the funding, UCI now must rely on more self-help, he said, on its “path forward… as a globally preeminent research university.”
“We are located in one of the most vibrant and forward-looking parts of the world, where innovation and bold plans are encouraged and rewarded,” he said in a speech upon becoming chancellor. “The excellence, ambition, and commitment of our faculty, students, and staff make it possible to attract those new partners and supporters who will help us reach our shared goals.”
OC philanthropists Sue and Bill Gross gave the largest private gift ever received by UCI: $40 million to establish a nursing school and help build a world-class facility to house it. UCI’s Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center raised another $40 million, including $17 million to support lung cancer treatment research.
Along with the funds, UCI has also raised the bar in national recognition. U.S. News & World Report recently named UCI as one of the 10 best public universities (along with five other UC schools), and The New York Times named it the most accessible college or university in the nation for low- and middle-income students.
The rankings and record-setting fundraising confirms UCI’s status as a preeminent research university and as an institution that is critically important to the vitality of the city of Irvine, and Orange County. UCI is OC’s second-largest employer and Irvine’s largest, and contributes $5 billion annually to the local economy.