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Giving with gratitude to UCSB students

Giving, with Gratitude

Alumni couple Stephanie and Eliot Peters, now business owners, credit UCSB with their success

“Don’t you want to do everything better than USC? Because I do.”

That’s UC Santa Barbara alumnus Eliot Peters ’00 posing a rhetorical question to fellow Gauchos, past and present, as he wondered whether lighting a competitive fire would stoke more robust philanthropic participation.

“Times have changed and state support has been cut so much that UCSB is a public university almost in name only,” said Peters, of San Diego, who earned his degree in business economics with an emphasis in accounting. “It’s not cheap, but it’s still a far less expensive option, and a great one. Certainly you’ll benefit your whole life from having come to a great program that didn’t completely burden you with debt. Don’t you want to keep that alive for other students?”

A desire to preserve and bolster that opportunity for future UCSB alumni is what prompted Peters and his wife, Stephanie ’01, who also studied economics (that’s how they met) to start giving to the campus. Since 2007 the couple, who sit on the San Diego Campaign Committee, has supported UCSB’s economics-accounting program, which they say prepared them well for the profession — and placed them in jobs before they’d even graduated.

“UCSB is such an amazing school,” Stephanie Peters said. “Since we graduated so many wonderful things have happened there — architecturally, in programs, in the majors — to keep it successful and make it more successful. We hope that our giving will encourage other alumni to give back and help future Gauchos.”