Donors & Philanthropy

"Aggie Sweethearts" Give $1M to CBS 50 Years After Meeting on Campus

In their most significant gift to UC Davis, alumni donors Charles and Nancy Cooper have pledged $1 million to support undergraduate student research opportunities within the College of Biological Sciences, or CBS.

“The gift is really a ‘thank you’ to the place and the people who helped us along the way, both personally and professionally,” said Charles “Chuck” Cooper. “I came to UC Davis with dreams of being a doctor, and I left with my family and my career. I feel like I owe Davis a lot.”

A Summer of Student Research: Donor-Supported Program Fuels Continuing Exploration and Hands-On Learning

Many students who embark on research projects during the academic year face a roadblock during summer break when they leave campus to seek employment and have to shelve their scientific pursuits. To bridge this gap, the CBS Dean's Circle Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) offers an invaluable opportunity.

The program provides undergraduates with mentorship, financial support and enables them to extend their research through a 10-week summer quarter. Generous contributions to the CBS Dean's Circle Fund make this annual initiative possible.

A Century of Sharing Scientific Knowledge: UC Davis Celebrates Professor Tracy Storer’s Centennial on Campus

Much has changed at UC Davis since Tracy Irwin Storer (1889-1973) arrived on campus in 1923 as the lone professor of what was then called zoology. Today, both the university and its role as a scientific center have expanded greatly, and the once-tiny zoology department has grown into nationally recognized teaching and research programs in evolution, ecology, and the wider biological sciences.

A Guiding Light to Generations: Remembering and Honoring Dr. Judith Simpson Schreider

When the late Judith Simpson Schreider ’76 started giving informal advice to students interested in the health professions, she couldn’t have imagined that nearly 50 years later her generous spirit would live on, serving thousands of UC Davis students annually. Yet it does, in the form of the College of Biological Sciences’ distinctive, holistically supportive Health Professions Advising (HPA) office.

CBS Sees Record Dollars Raised in 2022-23 Year

Donors to the University of California, Davis, gave robust support to the university during the last fiscal year, exceeding its annual fundraising goal by more than $27 million. Data announced August 8 show the university raised $253 million in FY22-23 in 56,071 gifts and pledges from 31,078 donors.

Jelly Beans and Beef Jerky: Gift from Alumnus to Create New Scholarship

Mark Presky (’73, B.S. Biological Sciences; ’74 M.A. Microbiology) didn’t plan to give to the university. As an undergraduate, he fell into a unique category: his parents made enough to send him to college, but too much for him to be eligible for financial aid or scholarships. And, with two other children at UC campuses, his family was strapped. As a result, Presky found himself having to watch every penny.

“I remember one finals week,” said Presky, “when I subsisted on a bag of jellybeans and a package of beef jerky. Probably not the best diet,” he says with a laugh.

Alumna Deb Neff Gives $8M to Biological Sciences

Life sciences industry expert Deborah Neff ’76 is giving $8 million to the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences for two endowments, one for the deanship and the other for the Center for Neuroscience for research into Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. The gift is the largest by an individual in the college’s history.

A Gift Grows On: The Legacy of Katherine Esau

In 1988, a 90-year-old alumna and former faculty member gave $648,000 to UC Davis to establish an endowment that would fund plant research fellowships in perpetuity. Still driving discovery today, her gift demonstrates the power of an endowment to benefit the world for generations.

Katherine Esau Ph.D. ’31 is widely known as one of the most influential plant biologists and professors in history. Esau’s pioneering work on plant anatomy and structure laid the groundwork for much of today’s research in the field—and her impact on campus reaches even further.

A Life in Service: Alumni Couple Give $1M to Name Lecture Hall

Sēvā (ਸੇਵਾ), a Punjabi word that means “service,” was the motivation behind alumni couple Kamaljeet “Kamal” Singh-Khaira and Dr. Ravinder “Ravi” Khaira’s recent $1 million gift to the College of Biological Sciences.

The Khairas’ gift will provide support for the college’s top priorities, and they feel confident in the leadership of Mark Winey, dean of the College of Biological Sciences, to best utilize the funding to further enhance student success initiatives, faculty excellence and advances in life sciences research.