In December, the Give to UC Merced 2021 fundraising initiative surpassed the targeted goal of $100,000, garnering a total of $227,569 to support programs and people throughout the university.
Give to UC Merced 2021 was the second year in a row that the initiative has been held over an entire month, having expanded from a single-day event. Nearly 24 percent of the donors were campus friends, 23 percent were staff and faculty, 17 percent were UC Merced alumni, 17 percent were parents and 19 percent were students, with several donors giving multiple gifts.
“Once again, the entire UC Merced community came together to generously support our students, faculty, services and programs,” Vice Chancellor for External Relations Ed Klotzbier said. “The dedication of our supporters continues to grow each year, and the positive impacts of their philanthropy throughout our campus cannot be overstated.”
Donations will support a wide range of programs and initiatives, including research, academic support and direct financial aid to students. Among the philanthropic highlights from the campaign were the establishment of new scholarship programs, including the Samuel G. Fong Endowment for Leadership — which was created by alumnus Sam Fong ’09 to support UC Merced students majoring in management, engineering, medical education or related fields who demonstrate impactful and motivational leadership abilities — and the Ernest and Julio Gallo School of Management Advisory Council Scholarship, which is being spearheaded by members of the council.
Additionally, 16 donors offered gift matches and issued challenges, ranging from $500 to $15,000, that helped encourage philanthropic support and increase giving totals:
- UC Merced Foundation Board Trustee Denise Watkins gave a generous challenge gift to kick off the initiative;
- Trustee Robert Bernstein, M.D., and Diplomat Jane Binger, Ed.D., gave a matching gift to support the Central Valley Graduate Fellowship in honor of Marjorie Zatz and a matching gift to support the Office of Leadership, Service and Career;
- Trustee Fred Ruiz and Diplomat Mitzie Ruiz gave a matching gift to support three funds: the Graduate Dean’s Fellowship Endowment, the Undergraduate Scholarship Fund and the UC Merced Annual Fund;
- Trustee Kate Ecker and John Mackie gave matching gifts to support two funds: the Food Security Program and the Student Emergency Fund;
- Trustee Daniel Feitelberg and Brittany Feitelberg gave a matching gift to support the Oxygen Fund;
- Interim Vice Provost and Graduate Dean Chris Kello gave a matching gift to support the Graduate Dean’s Fellowship Endowment;
- Trustee Joan Snyder gave a matching gift to support the Dream Act Scholarship Fund;
- Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Gregg Camfield gave a matching gift to support the University Library;
- Interim Vice Chancellor of Office of Research and Economic Development Marjorie Zatz gave a matching gift to support the Graduate Fellowship to Undocumented Students;
- Interim Vice Chancellor, Chief Financial Officer Kurt Schnier and Corinne Dedini gave a matching gift to support the Dream Act Scholarship Fund; and
- An anonymous donor gave a matching gift to support the Black Excellence Fellowship.
The campus has raised more than $2 million over the past eight years as part of the annual Give to UC Merced initiative.