UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman (far right) looks on as Henry and Susan Samueli sign a steel beam as part of the July 29 “topping off” ceremony. The celebration commemorated completion of the framing for the Susan & Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences, which will impact health teaching and delivery in Orange County, across the country and around the world. Steve Zylius/UCI

A July “topping out” ceremony marked the completion of the framing for UCI’s Susan & Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences building complex.

The nine-acre site – on the corner of Michael Drake Drive and California Avenue adjacent to the UCI Research Park – will include a state-of-the-art, five-story, 108,200-square-foot building for the college and the Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute, as well as an adjoining four-story-level, 71,500-square-foot building for the Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing. The project also encompasses a 150-seat auditorium, a Zen Garden, and a 600-foot-long wellness walk that leads to the School of Medicine’s Biomedical Research Center.

“Four years ago, in 2017, our health science mission of ‘Discover, Teach, Heal’ was launched into a new trajectory by the vision of Susan and Henry Samueli, whose far-sighted support for an evidence-based approach that engages all disciplines in caring for the whole person and total community inspires us all,” said UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman.

Major gifts from Susan and Henry Samueli and Sue and Bill Gross support the development of this project. In 2016, the William and Sue Gross Family Foundation committed $40 million to UCI to establish a nursing school and assist in the construction of a new building to house it. The following year, the Samuelis donated $200 million to build a first-of-its-kind college of health sciences focused on interdisciplinary integrative health. The far-reaching gift – one of the largest ever to a single public university – positions UCI as a bold new leader in population health, patient care, and health-related education and research.

In building construction, topping out (sometimes referred to as topping off) is a builders’ rite traditionally held when the last beam (or its equivalent) is placed atop a structure during its construction.

If you want to learn more about supporting this or other activities at UCI, please visit the Brilliant Future website. Publicly launched on Oct. 4, 2019, the Brilliant Future campaign aims to raise awareness and support for UCI. By engaging 75,000 alumni and garnering $2 billion in philanthropic investment, UCI seeks to reach new heights of excellence in student success, health and wellness, research and more. The Susan & Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences plays a vital role in the success of the campaign. Learn more by visiting:https://brilliantfuture.uci.edu/susan-and-henry-samueli-college-of-health-sciences/