Campaign History

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Founded in 1965, the University of California, Irvine combines the strengths of a major research university with the bounty of an incomparable Southern California location.

With a commitment to cutting-edge research, teaching, learning and creativity, we are a driving force for discovery, benefiting our local, national and global communities in many ways.

Shaping the Future reaches $500 M markThe Shaping the Future comprehensive fundraising campaign began at UC Irvine during the 2005-2006 school year.

As one of the initiatives of Chancellor Michael V. Drake's first year of leadership at UC Irvine, donors contributed more than $100 million in private financing.

Community leaders became involved in guiding the campaign and worked with people in the region to set the stage for the public announcement of the campaign.

The campaign was publicly launched in the fall of 2008 at UCI's annual gala honoring recipients of the UC Irvine Medal - the school's highest honor awarded to individuals for making extraordinary contributions to the university's mission of teaching, research and public service.

The leaders of the campaign committee announced that individuals, foundations and corporations had already given $400 million as foundational gifts to the campaign.

By uniting UCI's local and global communities, alumni and longtime supporters alike, the Shaping the Future campaign is dedicated to realizing the university's mission, making a difference in individual lives and, in turn, transforming the world.

As of mid-April 2011, the university had received more than $609 million for the campaign from over 100,000 donors. The campaign continues through 2015 – the 50th anniversary of UCI's founding.

Chancellor Michael Drake said the campaign's success is a testament to the commitment and vision of donors.

"We have seen the largest cash gift in UCI's history and a substantial and gratifying increase in the number of people giving to the university. This is especially heartwarming during these very difficult economic times," he said.

The Shaping the Future project takes on added importance as students and families cope with UC-wide fee increases. "I'm pleased that more than 2,000 student scholarships have been funded so far, and major efforts are under way to produce even greater support for our students," Drake added.

James Mazzo, president of Abbott Medical Optics and chairman of the UC Irvine Foundation, said the campaign is successful because UCI has a strong and compelling vision for its future, a confident and flexible game plan and a commitment to joining the ranks of the nation's top universities.

“UCI is making a difference in things that really matter to people: world-class medical care, new energy and environmental technologies, cognitive science and education, and keeping California at the forefront of global culture and business,” he said.

New Discovery
UC Irvine scientists Frank LaFerla, left, Mathew Blurton-Jones and colleagues have found that neural stem cells could be a potential treatment for advanced Alzheimer's disease.


Campaign Highlights

The campaign has touched virtually every aspect of the campus, including:

Doubling UCI's endowed chairs

200+ new student awards and 2,000+ scholarships and fellowships

Establishing and naming new schools, facilities and programs

Enhancing alumni and student engagement and philanthropy with more than 128,000 gifts made to the university during the campaign

Successful community and government relations programs and relationships

Opening of the UC Irvine Douglas Hospital; completion of the $50 million hospital campaign; as well as the dedication of Sue & Bill Gross Hall and the School of Medicine's new state-of-the-art medical education building

Setting historic annual fundraising records and significantly increasing the university's endowment

Strengthening connections to Orange County's business and community leaders through the University of California, Irvine Foundation and our school/program leadership councils

The creation of the UCI Foundation's Campaign Committee

Focused campaign themes in the areas of health, energy and the environment, global cultures and economies and frontiers of learning and the mind

UC Irvine's attracting the attention of peers across the country, with our Advancement team winning more than 55 CASE gold, silver and bronze awards for excellence since 2003 as well as CASE's Commonfund Institutionally Related Foundation Award for the UCI Foundation's best practices and strategic planning programs