Ed and Jeanne Kashian, longtime UC Merced donors who have supported the campus since its earliest days, have made a $5 million gift to advance the university's medical education efforts.
Slated for groundbreaking in the spring, a new state-of-the-art medical education building will be UC Merced's and the Central Valley's hub for health-focused education training and research. The building will house the newly launched B.S.-to-M.D. pathway - a partnership among UC Merced, UCSF Fresno and UCSF - focused on preparing medical students with a special interest in improving regional health care for professional and leadership roles, with classrooms and labs to be accessible to all students pursuing pre-health coursework.
Ed Kashian is the CEO of Fresno-based real estate developer Lance-Kashian & Company. He and his wife, Jeanne, are a founding UC Merced Foundation trustee and diplomat, respectively. In addition to their latest philanthropic commitment, the Kashians have supported numerous initiatives across UC Merced, including the Leo and Dottie Kolligian Library and cutting-edge stem-cell research conducted by campus faculty members. They have also generously provided unrestricted funding that enables the university to advance innovative projects and programs.
"We recognize that higher education has the ability to transform lives," said Ed Kashian. "Supporting medical education and the new medical education building is a priority for us because it ensures that promising students have access to resources that help them become physicians and health workers who can improve medical care in the Central Valley."
"Ed and Jeanne Kashian's unwavering support of UC Merced spans decades, and their early commitment to help us develop a medical education pathway has been instrumental in making it a reality," said Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz. "Their guidance, dedication and vision not only empower our educational mission, but help create new opportunities to meet our long-term goal to improve health care quality and access throughout our vastly underserved region."
"The Kashians are two of UC Merced's most committed champions," added Vice Chancellor and Chief External Relations Officer E. Edward Klotzbier. "Their outsized generosity and leadership have shaped our entire university."
The Kashians' latest gift is among the philanthropic milestones that are advancing Boldly Forward: The Campaign for UC Merced. Boldy Forward aims to raise $200 million for campus support by 2030, with gifts and pledges received since the campaign's launch recently surpassing $96 million.