The new building, to be located at the entrance to the 5,896-acre expanse of fields, canyons, and woodlands, will be named the Tipton Meeting House, in honor of the donor. The building will host more than 6,000 visitors annually and provide exhibition space and instructional facilities for university classes, research meetings, public workshops, and K-12 outreach programs.
"We are deeply grateful to the Tipton Foundation for this exceptional gift," said UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang. "This is a truly magnificent contribution to the educational and research activities of the Sedgwick Reserve."
Situated in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara Country, Sedgwick is part of the University of California's Natural Reserve System (NRS). Consisting of 34 protected natural areas throughout the state of California, the reserve system maintains significant examples of California's diverse aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems for teaching, research, and public service. UC Santa Barbara overseas seven such sites, including the Sedgwick Reserve.
Michael Williams, director of the Sedgwick Reserve, said the Tipton gift marked "the critical first step toward realizing the collective vision of both the surrounding community and the University of California."
Private philanthropic support, he added, will enable the Sedgwick Reserve to fulfill its long-range plan to restore the natural habitat and renovate many of the existing buildings for modern research and education, while making the reserve useful for scientists and visitors.
The Tipton Foundation, in a statement, said it was "truly a blessing to make a gift to the Sedgwick Reserve because it will have an enduring impact on teaching about and preserving nature."
The Tipton Meeting House will be built in traditional California ranch style, in keeping with the architecture of the surrounding buildings. It will incorporate sustainable building principles for environmental conservation and energy efficiency. Blackbird Architects, of Santa Barbara, has been selected to design the new building.
Alexander Glazer, director of the UC Natural Reserve System, said Sedgwick "attracts and rewards a large and diverse community of users, from talented scientists to landscape painters, from graduate students to school children. The Tipton Foundation gift will provide a facility essential to the reserve's future, and it will also serve as an inspiration for others."
The land that is now the Sedgwick Reserve was owned by philanthropist and rancher Francis "Duke" Sedgwick and his wife, Alice, who gave a large portion of the property to the university as part of their legacy. Though he never taught at the university, Sedgwick was active in campus affairs. An accomplished sculptor and art collector, he cast 100 Thomas More Storke medals, one of which is awarded each year to UCSB's highest achieving graduating senior. He also donated to the University Art Museum at UCSB the Sedgwick Collection of 15th- 16th- and 17th- century European paintings, which are on display in its "Renaissance Revealed" gallery.
Note to Editors: For further information, contact Michael Williams, director of the Sedgwick Reserve, at (805) 686-1941. His email address is email@example.com