An anonymous $10 million gift to UC Irvine will support the campus’s top scientists and their transformational research, as well as help with construction of a new building in The Paul Merage School of Business.

The endowed research fund established by the gift totals $9 million and is designed to empower faculty to pursue groundbreaking research and leverage matching support opportunities from government agencies and foundations that require campus contributions – exponentially increasing the gift’s impact. The new business building will receive $1 million.

“We are thrilled that the philanthropic community is inspired by the strength of UC Irvine’s faculty and research excellence,” Chancellor Michael Drake said. “These kinds of gifts enable the transformational scientific exploration that makes the world a better place, particularly in this climate of diminishing state support and uncertain federal grant funding.”

Potential areas for financial support include:

  • Environmental preservation, smart/sustainable energy sources and conservation.
  • Biomedical engineering and cardiovascular disease.
  • Neuroscience and diseases of the mind.
  • Science and engineering education geared toward the next generation of researchers.
  • Business and intellectual property law aimed at protecting scientific and technological discoveries.

The $1 million funding for the Innovation Gateway Building at The Paul Merage School of Business also puts the donor at the forefront of support for management education.

Earlier this spring, a generous grant from Audrey Steele Burnand allowed UCI to purchase the Desert Club, in Borrego Springs, and turn it into a field research center. Additionally, the university is more than halfway through its $1 billion Shaping the Future campaign, having taken in $630 million.

“We are extraordinarily grateful for this support and for the donor’s recognition of the research and academic excellence represented by UC Irvine,” said Daniel Aldrich, interim vice chancellor for university advancement. “This gift toward groundbreaking research is a fine example of the kind of private support that a major university can apply toward scientific and technological advances for the benefit of society.”

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County’s largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4.2 billion. For more UCI news, visit

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