UC San Diego has raised a whopping $2 billion in private donations over the past several years. The money will go toward plans to improve the campus as well as underwriting new research projects and expanding the school itself.
A Target store will be added to campus this summer. A bowling alley and a Whole Foods store are possibilities, too. The plans also include a grand front entrance to campus to welcome students and the community, while revamping the school’s arts program.
The university reached its fundraising goal three years early, thanks to four $100 million gifts. The money will also enable scientists to research the biological basis of empathy and compassion, among other things. There’s also a strong will to create a vibrant residential community on campus and transition away from being a commuter campus.
“I don’t want this to be just a great research university. I want it to be a great university- period,” said Chancellor Pradeep Kholsa, who began the campaign about seven years ago.
The Jacobs Medical Center, which is one of the largest stem cell research institutes on the west coast, was created using donation funds. Furthermore, the study of consumer and industrial robots, as well as an observatory in Chile, were made possible because of the generous gifts. The university was also able to take a trip to Palau to examine the health of the coral reefs and study new medical treatments as well.
UCSD seems to have no problem finding donors to help support its medical school and two hospitals, as it’s one of the largest academic medical researchers in the United States.
One of the major donors is Irwin Jacobs, the co-founder of Qualcomm. He gave $100 million; $75 million to the Jacobs Medical Center and $25 million to cover construction budget shortfalls.
University executives hope to generate another $1 billion by 2022 to fund a replacement hospital in Hillcrest.
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