The contributions from alumni, friends, corporations, and foundations increased 69 percent over the previous fiscal year when philanthropy totaled $17.6 million.
"We are extremely grateful to the UCSB Foundation trustees, alumni, friends, and volunteers for their generous gifts and visionary guidance," said UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang. "This support is crucial to the extraordinary accomplishments of our distinguished faculty, outstanding students, and dedicated staff."
Overall, gift support for faculty research, instruction, and student support rose substantially. A record 18,400 gifts were received, up 2,800 over the previous year, primarily due to a large increase in first-time alumni donors to the UCSB Annual Fund, which provides essential unrestricted support for campus priorities.
Included in the $29.8 million total was the largest gift in campus history, $15 million from the Donald Bren Foundation, of Irvine, to UCSB's School of Environmental Science and Management. The endowment will create a multi-campus graduate program within the school, which has been named for the donor. It will also fund two endowed chairs at UCSB.
A number of other generous donors also made permanent investments in UCSB's future. Five additional endowed chairs were established by the following: emeritus UCSB Foundation Trustee James Dehlsen and his wife, Deanna, in environmental studies; the estate of Katherine Esau, UCSB professor emerita in botany, in plant biology; Thomas and Ellie Harriman in support of the director of the Neuroscience Research Institute; UCSB Foundation Trustee M. Blair Hull in women studies, and The Rupe Foundation in communication. (An endowment consists of money that is permanently invested in order to provide interest income in perpetuity.)
In the last two years, the number of endowed chairs at UCSB, which support the teaching and research of distinguished faculty members, has more than doubled, amounting to 25.
Large gifts and grants for faculty research included a complete earthquake observation instrumentation system valued at over $1 million from Kajima Engineering and Construction Company, Inc., a California subsidiary of Kajima Corporation, of Japan, for the Institute for Crustal Studies; $500,000 in unrestricted research support in chemistry from The David and Lucile Packard Foundation; a total of $400,000 in research support for materials and the biological sciences from The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation; $380,000 in engineering computer software and research funding from Silicon Valley Research, and $350,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for research in geography.
"Our alumni and friends, dedicated volunteers, and distinguished faculty are working together to help generate new levels of support for this outstanding university," said Cheryl Brown Lohsé, assistant vice chancellor for development.
"As one of the nation's premiere public research universities, UCSB is making tremendous contributions to our state, nation, and the world," added John M. Wiemann, vice chancellor, institutional advancement, of which development is a part. "Private philanthropy enhances the overall excellence of the campus and is central to maintaining UCSB's eminence."
Over the years, state support for higher education has dropped to about one-third of UCSB's total operating budget, making philanthropic support essential to sustaining academic excellence.
UCSB's fiscal year begins July 1 and ends on June 30.