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Stories of Philanthropy hero

Stories of Philanthropy

We at UC Santa Barbara are continually awed by the generosity exhibited by our alumni, parents and friends. Over the years, generations of supporters have demonstrated their altruism in a variety of ways — by offering financial resources, and by devoting time and attention to this cherished institution.

We have witnessed the cumulative impact made by our donors: a collective, powerful force that sustains UC Santa Barbara’s notoriety and propels us into higher levels of achievement.

Indeed, we believe that every contribution counts. Supporting UC Santa Barbara means that you feel passionately about our institution and believe in its bright future. It means that your impact isn’t just financial; it’s the action that inspires all of us to do our part.

Discover what inspires our community of supporters.

I’m a big believer in social capital and I feel there’s a responsibility to give that back. If you can leverage your contributions with tax savings, you can increase the amount you give.
Jim ’71 and Laura ’71 Putnam

Richard Watts

The Power of Curiosity

Professor Emeritus Richard Watts delights in supporting campus in far-reaching ways through his support of the Fifth Grade Chemistry Outreach program, the Middle East Ensemble, Gene Lucas Scholarships, and many other gifts to diverse campus organizations. read more
The most rewarding part of UCSB Athletics is socializing with other supporters. It’s the connections with people and the hospitality.
Rebecca and Gary Eldridge

Morez in her Army uniform and today

An Audacious Adventurer

The youngest Gauchos learn and grow with help from Margaret Becker Morez, whose generous support of UC Santa Barbara’s Early Childhood Care and Education Services is inspired by her late husband's connection with youth. read more
I have a great fondness for first-generation kids pursuing STEM education. My father was born and raised on a farm in Nebraska and was the first to deviate from that. He got his B.S. in chemical engineering on the GI bill after WWII. My wife, Susan, and I hope that financial support for first-generation students pursuing STEM will be a great way to honor their courage in taking this step and help them achieve their success.
Professor Emeritus Gene Lucas ’73

Gretler Foundation Members and Recipients

A Bridge to the Community

The Gretler Foundation considers UC Santa Barbara the center of community life. By supporting UCSB Athletics and the Department of Economics, the foundation helps locals connect with campus and understand our region. read more

Verla Sorensen

Richness of Religion

Thanks to the Sorensen family, two visiting professors of Mormon and religious studies over a two-year period will create a new area of scholarship for UC Santa Barbara. read more
I want today’s engineering graduate students to have the same opportunities for mentorship and achievement that I enjoyed. Together with my wife, Marge, I support engineering fellowships to empower students to focus on their research and professional development. Marge and I hope that the Barpal Fellowship inspires recipients to continue supporting future generations of engineers and scientists.
Itzik Barpal M.Sc. ’68, Ph.D. ’70

Tunç ’81 and Lale Doluca

The University Spark

UC Santa Barbara Foundation Trustee Tunç Doluca MSEE '81 and his wife, Lale, doubled their commitment to Doluca Family Endowed Chair in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and made an additional gift to support priority equipment needs for undergraduate laboratories. read more

Ross Dowd ’94

New Horizons

The Dowd Creative Computing Initiative, created by Ross Dowd '94, allows UC Santa Barbara to provide an exciting interdisciplinary curriculum that integrates computer programming and digital art, within a humanities framework, that stresses research methods, communication skills, intellectual empathy, mental flexibility and systems thinking. read more

Will Cooper and family

A Home on Campus

Will and Jennifer Cooper are committed to making sure Gauchos have a healthy place to live, work and thrive through their support of affordable campus housing, sustainability efforts and scholarships for low-income, underrepresented students. read more

Sarah Argyropoulos

Turning the Tides

Thanks to UC Santa Barbara Foundation Trustee Sarah Argyropoulos, women in the Bren School for Environmental Science & Management pursue doctorates to work for a sustainable future and expand our knowledge of the ocean. read more

Phillip Spector ’72

A Wider World

Trustee Phillip Spector ’72 credits his intellectual awakening within UC Santa Barbara's Department of Political Science for his successful law career in Washington, D.C. Phil created an unrestricted legacy gift for campus to help young people on their path to their futures. read more
Amber ’06 and Ben Sprague with their two boys and dog

Family Values

A microscope that can view single atoms. Genetically modified mosquitoes. The art of bookbinding. Students have the opportunity to become scientists and creators thanks to the support of Amber '06 and Ben Sprague. read more

Mike ’87 and Catherine Byron

Homegrown Support

Mike ’87 and Catherine Byron believe in supporting the people and places who shaped their characters. The couple creates opportunities for economics students at UC Santa Barbara by providing scholarship support and enhancing departmental programming with campus speaker series, resume coaching and internships at Big Four accounting firms. read more

Scott Dinsmore

Leaving Legacies and Living Legends

Bill ’68 and Janet Dinsmore were moved by the influence that UC Santa Barbara’s Technology Management Program had in their late son Scott’s life. Their generous gift will extend Scott’s legacy by continuing his work helping students find their passion. read more

Duncan H’09 and Suzanne ’70 Mellichamp

An Evolving and Rewarding Partnership

For over 50 years, Professor Emeritus Duncan Mellichamp and his wife Suzanne have cultivated a rich intellectual community in Santa Barbara. Duncan was a founding member of the UC Santa Barbara Department of Engineering, and Suzanne helped shape young minds as a schoolteacher. Together, their philanthropy has changed the course of UC Santa Barbara. read more
David “DJ” W. Posley, Jr. ’09
Working in financial services, I knew how easy it was to make a legacy gift. I want UC Santa Barbara to compete in athletics at the same high level of our academics and lifestyle. My vision is for UC Santa Barbara to apply our expertise in innovative technologies to form research-based programs around athletic performance. I would love to be remembered as someone who changed the trajectory of the student-athlete experience.
David “DJ” W. Posley, Jr. ’09
Gorman Scholarship Recipients

Beyond Med School

It’s an exciting time for the life sciences, and donor Kevin Gorman wants to share that thrill. By establishing the Gorman Scholars Program, Kevin helps STEM students experience cutting-edge careers. read more

Fran ’80 and Barbara Mancia
One shouldn’t hesitate to foster and carry forward one’s specific passions for future generations to experience and enjoy. No legacy gift is too small.
Fran ’80 and Barbara Mancia
Trustee Steve '63 and Barbara Mendell

An International Perspective

They traveled the world together, and then they united to make it a better place. Steve Mendell ’63 and his wife, Barbara, established the Mendell Award in Political Science to encourage students to seek global solutions to challenges beyond the United States. read more

Carl Feinberg

A Visionary Return on Investment

When he was young, Carl Feinberg fell in love with physics. He fulfilled his childhood dream to advance our collective knowledge through a generous gift to the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, where he found his kindred spirits. As Feinberg says, "civilization is a team sport." read more

UCSB had a huge impact on me in so many ways: the making of lifelong friends, the shaping of my world view and ethic as an academic professional and scientist, and a grounding in geographic information systems (GIS) that led to where I am today. Over the years, my experiences at UCSB have become among the most precious to me, and that let me to select the University as a major beneficiary in my estate plans.
Dawn Wright Ph.D. '94

Students in a technology lab

Supporting Exceptional People

Future scientists and engineers learn to think big at UC Santa Barbara's Institute for Energy Efficiency, thanks to fellowships established by trustee George Holbrook." read more

Doug and Deborah Troxel

Investing by Intuition

Through supporting the Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics, Doug and Deborah Troxel fulfill their mission to invest in pioneering programs and forward-thinking projects. Their visionary gift supports a KITP physicist engaged in creative scientific inquiry. read more

T.A. Barron

Inspiration and Magic

Writer T.A. Barron has authored an innovative and interdisciplinary fund to advance environmental advocacy by humanities students skilled in communication and the historical and cultural implications of climate change. read more

While I was an undergraduate student, my job at the UC Santa Barbara Library taught me about professional responsibility, living within one's means, and working with people who are different from yourself. I believe a university education is a social vaccine against ignorance and intolerance, and that's why I support UC Santa Barbara.
Rafael Costas '86

Coral Reef

Moving the Needle

Ocean science and the environment are UC Santa Barbara specialties, and the Zegars seized their chance to be involved with this important work. The Zegars are fighting climate change by funding research into coral bleaching and global food supply. This synergy of the Zegars’s passion and UC Santa Barbara expertise could slow the advance of global warming. read more

Scholars on Board

Undergraduates will explore the ocean for generations to come thanks to fund endowed by the Bentson Foundation in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology. In 2014, the Bentson Foundation launched the UC Santa Barbara Bentson Scholars Program, a merit-based initiative for undergraduates with an interest in the flora and fauna of our underwater world. read more

The Jue family: Crandal, Caitlyn ’18, Julie, and Cav ’20
The biggest thing that our kids learned – and the reason why we like UC Santa Barbara – is the diversity of the students. Sometimes donors don’t understand why they need to support UC Santa Barbara. It’s special, and that’s why we do it. The people are what make UC Santa Barbara special.
Crandal Jue, UCSB Parent '18, '20

Betty Elings Wells H’10

Making Waves

Inspired by her love of exploring nature with her young grandchildren, Betty Elings Wells H’10 has made a pair of gifts to marine education and the North Campus Open Space public trail system. Wells has made the largest gift to the REEF in campus history. Her support will power interactive education outreach and create the Betty Wells Marine Science Outreach Initiative. read more

Kristen Hayford '11
The ability to choose where your support goes makes it personal and worthwhile. It’s like saying ‘thanks’ for our experience. I’m at a point where I’m more set in my professional career where I have resources to give back.
Kristen Hayford '11
Mike Stewart ‘91

A Video Board to Spark Hoopla

Thanks to Michael ‘91 and Melissa Stewart, the Thunderdome’s video board will soon feature pregame introductions and instant replays. With 54-foot display, Gaucho fans will experience UCSB Basketball in vivid detail. read more

Gus ‘78, ‘83 and Meg Gurley

A Passion for Unconventional Science

Gus ‘78, ‘83 and Meg Gurley were founding supporters of theoretical and quantitative biology at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP). Almost a decade later after the establishment of the Susan F. Gurley Chair in Theoretical Physics and Biology, the Gurleys continue providing ingenious generosity for the KITP and the Division of Mathematical, Life, and Physical Sciences at UC Santa Barbara. read more

Chris and Julie Proctor

Sacred Time for Research

UC Santa Barbara parents Chris and Julie Proctor see the spark in young scientists, artists, writers and entrepreneurs. Their support of summer undergraduate fellows through the College of Creative Studies helps students find their paths. University of California values run through three generations of the Proctor family, who believe in paying forward the education and experiences that shaped them. read more

Getting It Started

Trustee Alex Pananides H’06 and his wife, Jan Dunbar, have enriched the Santa Barbara community for over 50 years. With his talent for launching projects, Alex has advanced healthcare through a Collaborative Research Symposium between UC Santa Barbara and Cottage Hospital, brought cutting-edge training technology to UCSB Men's Basketball, and helped to build an ice hockey rink with the vision to inspire a division one team.

Students wearing Give Day T-shirts

UC Santa Barbara’s community united for 24 hours of digital philanthropy

Alumni, students, faculty, staff, and families came together on April 12, 2018, to celebrate UCSB on Give Day. In just 24 hours, our community raised $5,695,951 to write the next chapter for UC Santa Barbara. read more

Katie Records ’16 and Daniel Ring ’10

Gifting Grads

Katie Records ’16 and Daniel Ring '10 didn’t wait long before they began giving back to their alma mater. Through their growing philanthropy, current students will benefit from the same formative experiences that empowered Katie and Daniel to take on the world after graduation. read more

Operetta from the Miller's collection

Romance in the Rafters

A friend once told Michael Miller that he couldn’t collect everything. Michael and his wife, Nan, took this challenge to heart, amassing thousands of recordings, sheet music, and books: an unprecedented collection that will enrich research and culture at UC Santa Barbara thanks to the couple’s generous bequest. Their love of music and each other will echo forward in time through the UCSB Library. read more

Duncan H’09 and Suzanne ’70 Mellichamp

Home Team

Joanne and Patrick Graham raised their sons, Andy ’06 and Alex ’09, to look for ways to make a difference. While watching their sons pitch during UC Santa Barbara baseball games, the Grahams realized they could swing for the fences with support that would transform the stadium and the experience of Gaucho fans. Their gift is a true expression of Gaucho pride. read more

Dr. Bruce ’71 and Susan ’70 Worster

‘Elemental Education’ Inspires Extraordinary Giving

Dr. Bruce ’71 and Susan ’70 Worster foster a diverse and thriving scientific community at UC Santa Barbara by supporting women in engineering and the sciences. Education was elemental to the Worsters, but as Susan rose in her field, she encountered fewer and fewer women. Together, the Worsters have established two endowed chairs and helped countless scientists find their paths. read more

A Champion of Engineering

Trustee Steve Cooper ’68 is driven by his desire to support brilliant students. A true leader and advocate for UC Santa Barbara, Steve has funded a new computer lab, mentored aspiring engineers, and contributed to attract talented new faculty. Steve’s vision is evident throughout the College of Engineering.

Making Their Mark On and Off the Athletic Fields: Providing Invaluable Support of the Student Athlete

Good things happen when you work hard: that’s the motto for UC Santa Barbara Foundation Trustee, Dr. Richard Ryu and wife Linda Ryu. As donors to Intercollegiate Athletics, the Ryus believe that student-athletes fulfill unique roles as scholars and athletes---their time management, discipline, and sense of teamwork set students up for success. The Ryus exemplify generosity through their time and contributions with a focus on Student Health Services and UCSB Athletics. They have supported nearly all of our NCAA athletic teams and continue to make an impact, both on and off the field, with the services and the financial support they provide annually to over 450 student-athletes.

Lillian Lovelace

Collective Interests

With over three decades of university engagement, UC Santa Barbara Foundation Trustee Lillian Lovelace has provided significant funding for myriad events, exhibitions and centers at UCSB. The philanthropist believes in helping the efforts and the people she wishes to see succeed. read more

Blair Hull speaking at UCSB 2016 Commencement

‘Quant’ Alumnus Supports Something Personal

Blair Hull '65 gives thoughtful consideration to all of his investments, including the one he made in UC Santa Barbara. The alumnus established the Hull Chair in Women’s Studies (now feminist studies), which supports a UCSB faculty member working to advance the understanding of women, gender and social justice. The gift was inspired by his late mother, Jean Matlock Hull, and his three daughters. read more

Mark and Susan Bertelsen

Champions of "The Best Kept Secret"

The Bertelsens are UCSB's early builders. As alumni and philanthropists, they've witnessed the campus's evolution over the years, and have supported technology, innovation and entrepreneurism at UCSB. They believe that today's world is made possible by generations of innovators and benefactors that came before us – and we agree. With such passionate leadership, the Bertelsens join the ranks of UCSB's Gold Circle Society. read more

Bill Cheadle, Vernon Cheadle*, & Joey Cheadle ’16

Growing a Legacy

Vernon Cheadle, former UCSB Chancellor, was a world-renowned botanist whose collections are housed at the Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration. In a move to preserve his scientific legacy, Vernon's son, Bill Cheadle, with wife Mary Cheadle, have gifted the Center $1.6M, which will establish the Center's permanent endowment. read more

Adrian Griggs ’88 with Daughter and Son

In Memory of Mom

For Adrian Griggs, UCSB provided a solid foundation in all things professional and social. The interconnectivity of students, university and the Santa Barbara community all contributed to his experience, which included meeting his late wife, Kristin Martinez (also a Gaucho). In honor of Kristin and their daughter Dakota, midfielder for UCSB's women's soccer, Griggs has established a legacy gift: an investment to renovate the women's soccer team room and support a team trip abroad. read more

Eliot '00 and Stephanie '01 Peters
We hope that our giving will encourage other alumni to give back and help future Gauchos.
Philanthropists Eliot ’00 and Stephanie ’01 Peters

How Team Huddles Make the Difference

A consensus of friendship and partnership: that’s what these football hall-of-famers were after; and after 50 years, former football alumnus John Keever ’67 continues to stay engaged with UCSB. Together with his wife Debbie ’67, the Keevers’ generosity knows no limits. They exemplify altruism through their advocacy, and through their philanthropic support of Baseball and athletic scholarships. read more

Trustee Thomas Harriman

Trustee Thomas Harriman Majorly Invests in UCSB’s Brain Initiative

Thomas Harriman knows that high rewards demand high risks. The philanthropist and UCSB Foundation trustee is backing UCSB’s Brain Initiative, which aims to catalyze discovery and innovation in neuroscience by fostering collaborative brain research. read more

Good for the Soul

Alumna and Trustee Judith Stapelmann '63, '65 remains a steadfast protector of open spaces and seeks to maintain rangeland and ranch land. She is the benefactor of the Sedgwick Reserve, and her support has funded the Stapelmann Operating Endowment for the Reserve as well as support for the ranch in myriad ways. read more

I am a strong believer in giving back. To improve the future, you have to start with the now.
UCSB First Co-Chair Megan Jones '17

Give Day 2016

On April 8, 2016, thousands of Gauchos engaged on social media to celebrate UCSB’s first-ever Give Day. This was a milestone event for UCSB, marking the university’s campuswide debut into the digital space and an unprecedented outreach to its alumni community. read more

Donors Dr. Jennifer Thorsch ’76, ’81 and Charles Kaska ’73
Any potential donor can lead by example at some level of contribution.
Dr. Jennifer Thorsch ’76, ’81 and Charles Kaska ’73

A Visionary Gift: The Breaux Family Fellowship

Trustee Richard “Dick” Breaux '67 and his wife Kathryn “Kathy” '68, discuss their inspiration and personal motivation for establishing the Breaux Family Fellowship in support of stem cell research in the Clegg Lab in the Center for Stem Cell Biology and Engineering. Their fellowship recipient, Britney Pennington, shares an inside look at her research behind studying eye development using stem cells in hopes of applying findings to cellular therapies for Age-related Macular Degeneration. Also featured is Dr. Dennis Clegg, Wilcox Professor of BioMedicine, Co-Director, Center for Stem Cell Biology and Engineering, Department of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology. Dr. Clegg’s lab is researching how stem cells can be applied in novel therapies to treat diseases, especially Age-related Macular Degeneration, neural development and neural disease. 

Gift of Responsibility: For the Duvals, Giving is All in the Family

Trustee Glenn Duval '80 and his family annually support undergraduates with academic promise in research or honors programs through the Duval Scholarships at UC Santa Barbara. He and his wife, Bettina, endowed the awards fund and named it in honor of their son, Bennett, a 2011 UC Santa Barbara graduate. Bennett manages the scholarship and fund on behalf of the family, a gift received from his parents in honor of his graduation.

Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin of
It’s about understanding people better and understanding cultures better. And I think that’s a very important thing to support.
Lynda Weinman with Bruce Heavin

Supporting Students: An Opportunity of a Lifetime

Trustees Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree H'12 and John Arnhold '75 discuss their support for students. The Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree Endowment Fund which benefits outstanding students facing a barrier to education, such as financial need or a learning disability, has supported over 240 students since 1998. Arnhold, with wife Jody, have been major supporters of the Department of English through the Arnhold Undergraduate Research Fellows Program, which offers students unique opportunities to conduct research beyond normal undergrad course levels.

It seemed to us to be something unprecedented and we were just taken with the passion they bring to the work. We see that this investment is going to have tremendous returns.
Neil Didriksen, COO Deutsch Foundation on UCSB’s AlloSphere

Commitment to the Arts

Trustee and donor Eva Haller makes a gift of Californian art by Fletcher Benton to represent fine arts as well as art history, symbolizing the merging of the intellectual and the visual. Her life of mentoring and philanthropy was inspired by the loss of her brother during WWII. PRESS RELEASE

Inspiring a Generation: The Larry Adams Scholarship Fund

Trustees R. Marilyn Lee '69 and Phillip Spector '72 discuss their formative years at UC Santa Barbara and the inspirational mentoring of former Political Science Professor Larry Adams. Lee established the Larry Adams Scholarship Fund in the Department of Political Science in 1999, an annual award which Spector has greatly contributed to. The Adams Award recognizes and honors Professor Adams, whose strong commitment to public service and political involvement inspired a generation of UC Santa Barbara students in the 1960's.

Trustee, parent and honorary alumna Marcy Carsey
Nobody has all the money in the world, so you try to figure out ways to most effectively use whatever money you can give.
Marcy Carsey H’04
Maxine Prisyon and Milton Warshaw On Sofa
Schools have lost so much funding for the arts. We try to help fill in that gap.
Maxine Prisyon and Milton Warshaw

Trustee Mark Schwartz '84 Talks About Giving Back

Trustee Mark Schwartz '84 and his wife, Lynda, discuss their commitment to the UC Santa Barbara soccer program. The Schwartz family has opened their home to Gaucho players from around the world, developing strong bonds which inspire the community and their children.

'Like Family'

Alumni Trustee Lynn '55 (1932-2016) and Winnie '54 Reitnouer married in 1953 in the midst of their college years at what was then called UC Santa Barbara State College. The pair shared their time and money with the campus they praise as “world-class” by funding the Reitnouer Auditorium and the Reitnouer Endowment Fund for Intercollegiate Athletics. PRESS RELEASE

Parents Bettina and Glenn Duval ’80 (trustee)
I thought I’d try to give back every year, if possible, so that some other student could have the same opportunity.
Glenn Duval ’80 with Bettina Duval
Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree H'12
I've never thought of it as giving back but, simply, as giving, or sharing. And if the need is there, hopefully you have the privilege of sharing.
Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree H’12

Trustee Bruce G. Wilcox '77 and His Commitment to Community and Culture

Trustee Bruce G. Wilcox '77 describes the influence of his Chinese studies at UC Santa Barbara and his year and a half stay in Taiwan and Southeast Asia. Wilcox's education and confidence were instilled in him by these defining experiences; he believes in the value of cultural heritage and education as a tool in its maintenance. Wilcox has focused his giving on the needs of the university by donating a Gamelan orchestra from Bali to the Department of Music and graduate fellowships to the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies.

In Memoriam

Early UC Santa Barbara Alumnus and Longtime Trustee Recalls 1940's Campus Life

Harvey Schechter '47 talks about his journey to Santa Barbara and how he used to ride his horse, Chica, to school when UC Santa Barbara was a small campus on the Riviera. Schechter and his wife of 57 years, Hope, included the campus in their estate plans. PRESS RELEASE