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Philanthropy in the News

Students Walking on Path with Ocean in the Background

Field Tripping

UCSB invests in students and augments their learning with fieldwork, an increasingly rare practice among universities.

Many UCSB field trips are made possible by donors. The Environmental Studies Program, for example, uses its Freudenberg Fund, an alumni-supported endowment named for the late William Freudenberg, who was a UCSB professor for a decade. For its vertebrate biology supplemental field trip to Santa Cruz Island, EEMB took advantage of alumni donor funds. The Department of Earth Science, too, relies on philanthropy — also largely from alumni — to subsidize more than half the cost of its field trips.

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A glimpse into the quantum world: A

Of Spins, Entanglements and Spooky Actions

UCSB KITP member Leon Balents is appointed to the Pat and Joe Yzurdiaga Chair in Theoretical Physics.

He is the second UCSB faculty member to hold the position named for longtime campus supporters Joe and Pat Yzurdiaga. Balents follows in the footsteps of prominent string theorist and UCSB Professor Emeritus Joe Polchinski.

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Cherríe Moraga, Ben Olguín and Celia Herrera Rodriguez

Major Additions

New faculty in UCSB’s English department bring vibrancy to Chicana/Chicano literature studies.

The Erickson Presidential Chair, which could be the first-ever endowed chair in Chicana literature advertised by a U.S. English department, was made possible by a gift from philanthropists John and Jody Arnhold. Duffy noted that John Arnhold ’75, a UCSB trustee, English alumnus and generous supporter of the campus, said the department could designate the chair in any field deemed appropriate. The faculty voted overwhelmingly for Chicano literature.

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Shopping Cart by Stop Sign Off of a Deserted Street

Confronting Poverty

Talk by Robert Reich will inaugurate new Blum Center for Global Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Development.

The UC Santa Barbara Blum Center for Global Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Development will bring the issues of poverty and inequity front and center, gathering faculty and students from a host of academic disciplines to teach, learn, conduct research and to explore opportunities for collective action and practical engagement.

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Two Students Dancing on Stage

A Bright Future

Jody and John Arnhold ‘75 endow a production fund for UCSB theater and dance, securing its programs for generations to come.

John Arnhold ‘75, with his wife Jody, a luminary in dance education, has gifted the UCSB Department of Theater and Dance with $1.25 million — the largest endowment in its history. The support establishes a production fund to secure the department’s programs for generations.

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UCSB Campus and Storke Tower

Commitment and Guidance

UC Santa Barbara Foundation welcomes four new trustees; alumnus Richard Breaux takes seat as board chair.

Alumnus Richard Breaux ’67, a highly successful builder with a strong background in education and a belief in the power of philanthropy, is the new chairperson of the UC Santa Barbara Foundation Board of Trustees.

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Joseph Walther

Digital Relationship Guru

Communication professor Joseph Walther is named to the Bertelsen Presidential Chair in Information Technology and Society.

Walther, who in fact pioneered the study of computer-mediated communication and its implications for intrapersonal relationships, has been named the inaugural Bertelsen Presidential Chair in Information Technology and Society at UC Santa Barbara. He will also be the director of UCSB’s Center for Information Technology (CITS).

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A graduate student works in the lab of John Bowers at UCSB's Institute for Energy Efficiency

‘Think Big’

Investor and philanthropist George Holbrook’s gift safeguards graduate research fellowships at the Institute for Energy Efficiency.

George Holbrook, local resident, venture investor and philanthropist, has pledged a $4 million bequest from his estate to fund continued support of the Holbrook Foundation Fellowships he created in 2011.

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UCSB Labyrinth

Sustaining Excellence

UC Santa Barbara reaches $100 million in fundraising in fiscal year 2017.

For the third consecutive year, UC Santa Barbara has reached or surpassed $100 million in fundraising, receiving a total $100 million in gifts and pledges for fiscal year 2017. Since 2011, yearly donations to the campus have more than doubled due to philanthropic support.

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UCSB Brain Initiative

Brainiacs Win Big

UCSB Brain Initiative wins Hearst Foundation award to amplify interdisciplinary effort.

In fields ranging from mechanical engineering to molecular biology, psychology to philosophy, electrical engineering to English, top minds at UC Santa Barbara are striving — together — to solve this enduring puzzle by way of the cross-disciplinary UCSB Brain Initiative.

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Karen Scida

Rising to the Top

Chemist receives the 2017 Otis Williams Postdoctoral Fellowship for an innovation that uses bubbles to pump insulin.

The Otis Williams Fund at the Santa Barbara Foundation provides support for young Ph.D. scientists to work at the interface of biology and engineering. For her fellowship, Scida has a plan to engineer a solution to one of the world’s largest epidemics: diabetes.

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Kim and Jack Johnson

Taking Root

Alumni Kim and Jack Johnson team with UCSB’s Edible Campus Program on a teaching farm to promote sustainability, feed students in need.

Ever an institution to advance all things environment and sustainability, UC Santa Barbara is flourishing in a pursuit uncommon for a beachside campus: farming. Two years after pot-planting a duo of citrus trees beneath Storke Tower, UCSB has now added a hydroponic vertical garden near the Recreation Center.

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Alicia Escalante

A Chicana Warrior

Alicia Escalante, who led the fight for justice and dignity in the turbulent 1960s, has donated her papers to UCSB.

A poor single mother of five, she became one of the leading activists of the Chicano Movement in the 1960s. She founded the East Los Angeles Welfare Rights Organization (ELAWRO) in 1967 and participated in some of the most important Civil Rights struggles of the decade.

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Blue Whale Tail and Cargo Ship

Save the Whales

Benioff Ocean Initiative at UCSB announces first project, commits $1.5 million to finding solutions to whale deaths caused by vessel collisions.

The Benioff Ocean Initiative was founded in 2016 with an initial gift of $10 million from Lynne and Marc Benioff, the chairman and CEO of Salesforce. The experimental enterprise aims to combine university researchers, students and global ocean communities to identify problems and solve them with emerging technologies.

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360° video

Reality in All Directions

Electrical and computer engineering professor Kenneth Rose and his team search for better 360° video encoding.

With a $40,000 gift from the company InterDigital Communications, through its charitable affiliate the Signal Foundation for Wireless Innovation, Inc., Rose and his team will investigate methods of compression to decrease both the volume of data and the time needed to process it.

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Operetta Artwork

Michael & Nan Miller Donate Major Operetta Archive

Shelves fill nearly every wall of their home with operetta and music ephemera that will one day be housed at the UCSB Library.

The Millers plan to donate their entire collection, appraised at more than $2 million, to the Library after their deaths. They also created a $1 million endowment that will fund the costs of packing, moving, processing and sustaining the collection.

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Sedgwick Reserve

All in the Family

A major gift from alumna Linda Duttenhaver and her father, Morton La Kretz, will further research and teaching at UCSB’s Sedgwick Reserve.

Devotion to environmental causes runs deep in the La Kretz family; so does a passion for philanthropy. Put them together and it’s a true force of nature. 

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The papers of U.S. Congresswoman Lois Capps

'Challenges and Triumphs'

Newly retired U.S. Congresswoman Lois Capps donates her papers, two decades worth, to UCSB Library Department of Special Research Collections.

“The UCSB Library is honored to preserve and manage former Congresswoman Lois Capps’s papers, which will support generations of students and scholars interested in her 20 years of leadership and service,” said University Librarian Denise Stephens.

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The Club & Guest House

Be Our Guest

UCSB’s renovated faculty club, now The Club & Guest House, is open for business.

A grand opening celebration for the campus and community, including an open house, will be held at the new facility Tuesday, Jan. 31, from 3:30 to 6 p.m.

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The UCSB Greenhouse & Garden Project hosts students, faculty and staff to maintain their own garden plots.

'Inside, Outside and Beyond'

Unique collaboration of UCSB’s Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, Edible Campus Project and Orfalea Family Children’s Center seeds sustainability in preschoolers.

Given proper care and attention, a single seed can grow into something that flowers for generations. And that’s the hope — both literally and figuratively — of a unique new collaboration at UC Santa Barbara.

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Joseph Polchinski

Another Major Breakthrough

UCSB physicist and KITP permanent member Joseph Polchinski wins prestigious 2017 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.

Awarded for his transformative advances in quantum field theory, string theory and quantum gravity, distinguished UC Santa Barbara physicist Joseph Polchinski has won the prestigious 2017 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, which recognizes major insights into the deepest questions of the universe.

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Black Hole

Fundamental Fellows

With a gift of $1 million to create a high-level postdoctoral fellowship in fundamental physics, UCSB pushes to address the discipline’s most fundamental and vexing questions.

Thanks to this major new gift, UC Santa Barbara aims to unleash promising young scientific minds on harmonizing the theory of relativity and quantum theory, finding a quantum theory of gravity, and other related topics.

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Samir Mitragotri

‘For Distinguished Contributions to Medicine’

UCSB professor Samir Mitragotri is elected to the National Academy of Medicine.

Mitragotri joins 79 new members chosen by the organization in recognition of their professional achievement and commitment to service.

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UC Santa Barbara continues to attract some of the best and brightest applicants in the world.

'Vision and Expertise'

UC Santa Barbara Foundation welcomes three new trustees for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Laurie Bentson Kauth, Claudia Webster and Howard Wenger join the leadership body that promotes the university by increasing philanthropy and managing and growing the endowment.

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Joseph Incandela

Physics Beyond the Standard Model

UCSB physicist Joseph Incandela will present the campus’s 61st Annual Faculty Research Lecture.

On Monday, October 17, Incandela will deliver UCSB’s 61st Annual Faculty Research Lecture, titled “Searching for the Genetic Code of our Universe.”  The highest honor bestowed upon a UCSB professor by his or her peers, the lecture recognizes extraordinary scholarly distinction. 

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Michael Gazzaninga, director of the center and a professor of psychological and brain sciences at UCSB

All in the Mind

With its visiting scholars program and other offerings, SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind at UC Santa Barbara blurs the boundaries between disciplines.

When computer scientist, bitcoin expert and noted hacker Emin Gün Sirer gave a public talk as a visiting scholar at UC Santa Barbara, the room was packed with engineers, rapt at attention. No surprise there, except maybe when considering the event’s host: the campus’s SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind.

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EAP Student Elaine Yoo

A Boost for Overseas Study

Freeman Foundation grant to fund 36 student internships in Asia through UCSB’s Education Abroad Program.

Building on its remarkable growth, the UC Santa Barbara Education Abroad Program (EAP) has received a $150,780 grant from the Freeman Foundation to fund up to 36 student internships in Asia during the 2017-18 academic year. 

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UC Santa Barbara Lagoon

'Resounding Generosity'

UC Santa Barbara marks its second-best year ever for fundraising in fiscal year 2016.

UC Santa Barbara raised $119 million in private gifts for fiscal year 2016. The generosity of donors propelled UCSB past its $1 billion goal for The Campaign for UC Santa Barbara and helped move the campus into a new era of fundraising.

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Microscope with glass slides

And the Winner Is …

Kudos to UCSB’s award-winning postdoctoral scholars.

Speaking to the strength of research at UC Santa Barbara, eight postdoctoral scholars have received recognition and support to help them further their studies. Many of the accolades are related to medical or health explorations, ranging from molecular level inquiries to practical application.

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The Benioff Ocean Initiative based at and led by UC Santa Barbara

Crowdsourcing Sea Change

With a $10 million gift from Marc and Lynne Benioff, UC Santa Barbara establishes the Benioff Ocean Initiative to study and solve ocean issues.

The Benioff Ocean Initiative, a bold new endeavor led by the University of California Santa Barbara, aims to research the root causes of these pervasive ocean problems and use science to solve them.

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SNARL Sagebrush

‘All This Rugged Beauty’

The Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserve in Mammoth Lakes, encompassing Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Lab and Valentine Camp, is a spectacle of nature and a hub for education.

Peeking through a grove of svelte, white aspens, dusty hills ascend from sagebrush, giving way to jagged, rocky peaks piercing an impossibly blue sky that extends as far as the eye can see.

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Tag-Team Shakespeare

UCSB debuts a unique course that combines its theater and English departments for a deep dive into The Bard’s works.

In a small theater at UC Santa Barbara, Irwin Appel and James Kearney are plowing new ground in an old field: the works of William Shakespeare.

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UC Santa Barbara's Actuarial Science program has received a number of awards and accolades

No Risk, No Reward

UC Santa Barbara’s actuarial science program receives multiple awards and grants for overall excellence.

While actuarial scientists — the number crunchers who use complex mathematical models to estimate risk — traditionally have been vital to the insurance industry, companies like Google and Uber are now hiring them to help assess opportunities for growth

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Alison Brysk, the Mellichamp Professor of Global Governance in the Department of Global Studies at UCSB

A Guardian of Global Rights

The International Studies Association recognizes UC Santa Barbara professor Alison Brysk’s accomplishments as a scholar and mentor.

Though most of us agree with the noble goals of human rights campaigns, there are many competing opinions about how to best organize an effective social movement. And Alison Brysk has heard them all.

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William Wise, an earth science professor emeritus at UCSB

A Cut Above the Rest

UC Santa Barbara's Bancroft Collection features a dazzling array of minerals and gem crystals.

In an otherwise unassuming two-story building -- one of the first erected at UC Santa Barbara in the late 1950s -- sits treasures untold: an assemblage of minerals and gem crystals -- many quite rare -- known as the Bancroft Collection.

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Steve Hinkley of MOXI, with UCSB’s JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, a professor of media arts and technology and founder/director of the AlloSphere

Partnership and Collaboration

UCSB teams with MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploreation + Innovation to engage the public in science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics.

Spurred by a common mission of public service, and a mutual aim to foster public engagement with what's known in education circles as STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics), UC Santa Barbara is teaming on a unique project with MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploreation + Innovation

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Tom Steyer during a 2014 appearance at UCSB, with John Bowers, director of the campus-based Institute for Energy Efficiency

Bold Solutions

TomKat UC Carbon Neutrality Project, led by UCSB, launched with $300,000 donation to combat climate change.

The University of California today launched the TomKat UC Carbon Neutrality Project with a $300,000 gift from the TomKat Foundation, established by Tom Steyer and Kathryn Taylor. The TomKat UC Carbon Neutrality Project seeks to develop and deploy solutions to the challenges of climate change.

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Give Day Highlight

Gauchos Are Generous

With nearly 1,300 donors — and more than $3.7 million — UCSB’s inaugural Give Day was a resounding success.

UCSB’s first-ever Give Day delivered in a major way. The one-day digital fundraising drive scored 1,268 total donors, who together gifted the university $3.7 million in just 24 hours.

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UCSB Students at SRB


Inaugural Give Day at UC Santa Barbara launches new era of fundraising for campus.

Hoping to reach alumni in their regular hangouts and foster closer connections that inspire lifelong philanthropic support of the campus, UC Santa Barbara is holding its first-ever one-day digital donation drive.

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A Meeting of the Minds

Investigators from UCSB and Cottage Health present summaries of their work in the hope of forming collaborative research partnerships.

UC Santa Barbara biologist Michael Mahan’s groundbreaking work on antibiotic resistance may one day change the way these ubiquitous drugs are prescribed. 

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Giving to the Givers

UCSB First awards dinner disperses grants to student organizations with philanthropic plans.

Staying true to its central mission to help build a culture of giving of campus, the philanthropically focused student group UCSB First dispersed $4,250 in grants during its 2016 Philanthropy Awards Dinner.

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Real-World Scholarship

The Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies at UCSB celebrates 10 years of collaborative research on critical issues.

When the Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies at UC Santa Barbara was established 10 years ago, its mission was fairly simple: to provide support for speakers’ series and seminars. 

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Valued Partners

UC Santa Barbara Foundation welcomes two new trustees for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Michael Stewart and Jeffrey Worthe join the leadership body that promotes the university by increasing philanthropy and managing and growing the endowment.

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A Landmark Year

UC Santa Barbara records historic year for fundraising in fiscal 2015.

Buoyed by the largest single gift in the campus’ history and a surge of donors across the giving spectrum, UC Santa Barbara had a landmark fundraising season in fiscal year 2015.

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A Great Privilege

Philanthropist Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree named chair of UC Santa Barbara Foundation.

Prominent philanthropist Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree, a devoted campus benefactor and passionate advocate for education, has been named chair of the UC Santa Barbara Foundation.

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Real-World Science

Worster fellowships in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology fund experiential learning for undergraduate students.

These UCSB undergraduates are among a group of students who had the unique opportunity to conduct research in the field thanks to Worster fellowships.

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New Center for SNARL

SNARL opens doors on new net-zero energy, high-tech classroom and lecture hall; Page Center named for longtime donors.

Two years after making a major gift to UC Santa Barbara to help fund a project they also helped to conceive, donors Paul and Kate Page celebrated the completion and dedication of the Kate and Paul Page Research and Learning Center at UCSB’s Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory (SNARL) in Mammoth Lakes.

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Putting UCSB First

The student-run organization committed to instilling philanthropic ideals in current Gauchos hopes efforts will bolster giving among future alumni.

Fluffy pancakes, fresh fruit, hot coffee — nothing like free food to draw out the college crowd. But it’s the camaraderie that keeps them hanging around even after the caffeine well runs dry.

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A rendering of UCSB’s Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP) Visiting Scholar's Residence

Investing in Ideas

With $65 million gift, business titan Charlie Munger invests in physics at UC Santa Barbara

Charlie Munger was first introduced to physics as a college student in 1941. That particular encounter was rather brief — World War II saw to that — but the hard science made a strong impact.

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