Skip to main content
Scenic view of the lagoon with Storke Tower in the background

A Wider World

Phillip Spector ’72 supports teaching, research and public service

UC Santa Barbara transformed how Trustee Phillip Spector ’72 engaged with the world. As a student, Phil studied abroad in England and became deeply involved with the UC Santa Barbara Department of Political Science. He created an unrestricted legacy gift for campus to help students excel far into the future.

“I believe that unrestricted gifts are generally the best,” said Phil. “My unrestricted gift supports the whole university with most flexibility, and it is more permanent than my annual gifts.”

After graduating from UC Santa Barbara, Phil earned a law degree and a master’s in public policy from Harvard University. Phil’s mentorship with political science Professor Larry Adams helped him to understand how government and policy intersect, crucial to his long career in Washington, D.C. Phil has recently retired from his law firm, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCloy.

“Larry Adams made the political philosophers real and part of one’s life in a way that was inspiring and exciting,” Phil said. “There was, for me, an intellectual awakening from professors at UC Santa Barbara who inspired me and who pushed me to think in new ways.”

Phil believes a legacy gift is part of good estate planning. He would like to see UC Santa Barbara’s endowment grow to rival Harvard’s, leading to more student support.

“I received some scholarships when I was at UC Santa Barbara, so giving back is important,” said Phil. “UC Santa Barbara educated me and opened my eyes to a wider world.”