An Extraordinary Year: $156 Million in Private Gifts

by José Rodriguez

A record $156 million in private gifts was raised for the campus in the 1994-95 fiscal year.

The unprecedented fund-raising total comes at a time of increased pressure on Berkeley to preserve its excellence in the midst of tightened state and federal budgets.

"No other public university can boast of this kind of fund-raising success," said Chancellor Tien.

"It reflects the confidence of alumni and friends in the institution, who are saying, 'We care about Berkeley and want to keep it strong.' "

The fund-raising total represents nearly 59,000 separate gifts--the most in campus history--and will improve financial and research support for students and faculty.

This helps seal Berkeley's future as an enterprising public university with an increased reliance on support from individuals, corporations and foundations.

The gifts raised place the campus in the lead among public universities that have turned to the private sector to make up for the decline in public dollars.

Berkeley's total is higher than that of universities that benefit from having medical schools, which also serve as fund-raising magnets. In the past year, by comparison, the University of Michigan raised $145.7 million.

State support for Berkeley has declined steadily in the last five years. Direct state support now accounts for about 37 percent of Berkeley's budget, compared to 49 percent five years ago.

The tightened budgets have left their mark on the campus, with early faculty retirements since 1990 costing the university 10 percent of its faculty. In addition, there has been an increase in student fees of 117 percent between 1990 and 1994.

While the gifts alone cannot make up for these losses, they help steer the university toward a steadier financial course, less susceptible to the vagaries of state and federal budget-making.

"Without this kind of support, the Berkeley we know and love will not be able to deliver on its promise to educate our citizens into the new century," Tien said. The gifts are critical, he added, to Berkeley's ability to "hold down student fees and attract and retain the world's best and brightest faculty."

Alumni and friends gave the bulk of the 1994-95 support. Their contributions, along with bequests, made up 58 percent of all gifts to the campus. Corporations and foundations contributed the remainder of the private dollars.

The amount raised is more than $45 million over that collected last year and nearly $29 million above the university's previous one-year record in 1989-90, at the height of an earlier fund-raising drive.

Included in the $156 million:

o $25 million from an anonymous donor (the largest single gift ever to a UC campus) to be used at the discretion of the chancellor--$19 million to be used for the life and physical sciences and $6 million for endowments, including a distinguished professorship.

o $10 million from Evelyn and Walter A. Haas Jr. for a new student athletic and activity facility that will include an expanded basketball pavilion. Walter A. Haas Jr. is honorary chair of the board of Levi Strauss & Co. and a 1937 Berkeley graduate.

o $5 million from Patricia C. and F. Warren Hellman for research by junior faculty in the core disciplines. He is a partner in Hellman and Friedman and graduated from Berkeley in 1955.

o $5 million from an anonymous Bay Area corporation for the chancellor's priorities.

o $5 million from an anonymous donor as a challenge gift for the University Art Museum's endowment campaign.

The gifts also will help the campus reach its planned goal of raising $1 billion by the turn of the century in a campaign still in the planning stages, with an expected kickoff in the fall of 1996.

The campus has raised $831.5 million in private support in the past seven years. In 1990 Berkeley completed its first comprehensive capital campaign, which raised $468.6 million, making it the most successful capital campaign at a public university up to then.


Copyright 1995, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.
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