Beall family
L to R: Charlie Beall, Don Beall, Joan Beall, Cher Beall, Ken Beall. Steve Zylius / UCI

Irvine, Calif., May 23, 2019 — The University of California, Irvine has received a multimillion-dollar gift from The Beall Family Foundation, led by Donald R. and Joan F. Beall. The largest portion of the gift will go to the campus’s entrepreneurial and innovation platform, UCI Applied Innovation, which will be renamed UCI Beall Applied Innovation. This donation brings the Beall family’s total philanthropic giving to the university to nearly $30 million.

“The impact the Bealls have on furthering the mission of UCI is remarkable,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman. “From the arts to business to innovation, their generosity is felt throughout the campus, and we are grateful for their support.”

Gillman created UCI Applied Innovation in 2014 as a dynamic, innovative central platform for collaboration among the UCI campus, entrepreneurs, the business community and investors and to connect campus-based discoveries with Orange County’s vibrant business community. This helps foster job creation and economic growth and accelerate the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region.

“UCI Beall Applied Innovation understands that bringing great innovation to market requires a very intentional approach to industry engagement, and no one knows that better than Donald Beall,” said Richard Sudek, Ph.D., UCI Beall Applied Innovation’s executive director and UCI’s chief innovation officer. “His generosity of leadership and acute business acumen are tremendous skills he brings to our board. His legacy of supporting innovation and technology translation will ensure that Orange County remains responsive to developing industries and economic opportunities. And this is at the heart of UCI Beall Applied Innovation.”

Currently chairman of The Beall Family Foundation and a principal in Dartbrook Partners LLC, Donald Beall retired from Rockwell International in 1998 after a 30-year career, during which he served as either chairman/CEO or president/chief operating officer for 20 years. The Bealls have been very involved at UCI, supporting various areas of the university, with a focus on encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship among UCI students and faculty. Donald Beall serves on advisory boards and executive committees in a number of schools and units across campus. Joan Beall is on the advisory board of the Beall Center for Art + Technology. 

Kenneth Beall, Don’s son and a successful real estate entrepreneur and founder of several real estate-related companies, has been increasingly involved at UCI since serving on the 2014 task force created by the chancellor that resulted in the creation of UCI Applied Innovation. He has served as chairman of the Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UCI’s Paul Merage School of Business, as well as an original member of the UCI Applied Innovation board. In 2018, he was appointed chairman of the entrepreneurial hub, succeeding Don Beall.

Also last year, Ken Beall worked with UCI professors Imran Currim and Chris Bauman – and received strong support from Dean Eric Spangenberg – in obtaining approval for and launching a master’s program in innovation and entrepreneurship at the business school, the only one of its kind in the UC system. This one-year, full-time program is currently accepting applicants and will commence instruction this fall.

Another new endeavor of The Beall Family Foundation, in collaboration with UCI Beall Applied Innovation, is University Lab Partners, the first non-profit wet lab incubator/accelerator in Orange County. Scheduled to open at UCI Research Park in September, it will provide 17,000 square feet of specialized lab facilities and equipment, enabling UCI faculty and students and local inventors to nurture emerging technologies and companies. University Lab Partners is focused on growing the county’s life sciences/medical technology ecosystem. NXT Biomedical – led by Stan Rowe, former chief scientific officer at Edwards Lifesciences, and backed by Deerfield Management, Johnson & Johnson and Edwards Lifesciences – will be among the initial residents of University Lab Partners.

“UCI has been a driving force uncovering breakthroughs that have real-world impact,” said Donald Beall. “Together, we hope to bring these discoveries to life, benefiting students, faculty, the business community and society as a whole.”

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 222 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit

About University Lab Partners: We believe innovation and entrepreneurship are critical to a healthy ecosystem. As a non-profit, we are focused on driving advancement through developing facilities and programs that nurture and enable innovators, accelerate the development of their ideas and enhance the Orange County MedTech / Life Science ecosystem. Our core mission is simple: by operating a 17,000 square foot wet lab incubator in UCI Research Park our goal is to accelerate the development of knowledge, products and companies that will benefit society. We nurture future entrepreneurs through robust educational and mentorship programs. Our programs and collaborations help us advance promising therapies and products so they can get to market faster. By bringing together the innovation ecosystem, we help ensure that entrepreneurs and innovators achieve their full potential. For more information, please visit

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