Initiative that Raised Millions for UC Davis Students Receives International Recognition

An initiative at UC Davis that helped raise nearly $4 million for student scholarships, fellowships, and awards, recently received international recognition.

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education, headquartered in Washington, D.C., with members around the world, recently named UC Davis winner of a silver 2013 Circle of Excellence award for its efforts related to The UC Davis Foundation Matching Fund for Student Support.

The UC Davis Foundation Matching Fund for Student Support was a $1 million-plus, university-wide fundraising initiative that was created by personal donations from current and emeriti members of the UC Davis Foundation Board of Trustees and university leadership.  The initiative inspired nearly $4 million in gifts to come in for UC Davis students and has helped create about 40 scholarship, fellowship and award endowments.  The fund also helped push the university over the top to reach its $120 million student support fundraising goal for The Campaign for UC Davis—the university’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign that seeks to inspire 100,000 donors to contribute $1 billion in philanthropic support by the end of 2014.

“This prestigious award is something to be very proud of and is a testament to what an outstanding group of volunteer leaders and donors we have at UC Davis,” said Shaun Keister, vice chancellor for development and alumni relations and president of the UC Davis Foundation.   “The $1 million investment from the board created strong momentum to increase student support and will provide vital assistance to our students now and for years to come.”

The Circle of Excellence Awards are CASE’s premier international award that acknowledges superior accomplishments that have lasting impact, demonstrate the highest level of professionalism and deliver exceptional results.  This year, 615 higher education institutions, independent schools and nonprofits worldwide submitted more than 2,900 entries in 45 categories for consideration in the Circle of Excellence awards program.   UC Davis was one of only four universities world-wide to be selected by a panel of experts to win this award  in the Targeted Campaign Fundraising category —one of the most competitive categories in 2013.

 “As chairman of the UC Davis Foundation Board of Trustees, I know how important philanthropic support is to fulfilling our UC Davis mission,” said Bruce Edwards, a 1960 alumnus and now a retired businessman living in Saratoga, Calif. Edwards had the original vision for the matching fund initiative and is a strong contributor to the university.  “I really feel, more so today than ever, that education is incredibly important and students need help.  I’ve realized that together, we can make a big impact on future generations,” he said.

The $1 million-plus UC Davis Foundation Matching Fund for Student Support, which was launched in December 2012, provided a one-time $25,000 matching contribution for new gifts of $25,000 or more made to student support endowments.  In addition to the $25,000 match, the foundation’s fund provided a bonus allocation of $1,000 so funds can be awarded to students soon after the endowment is established.  Typically, student support endowments must be invested for a minimum of one year before earnings can be distributed, but this initiative will be able to begin distributing funds in fall 2014.

This will make a difference to students like Rebecca Sterling, former president of the Associated Students at UC Davis, who helped announce UC Davis Matching Fund for Student Support to students at a campus celebration.

“We are appreciative that there is a fantastic family of UC Davis alumni and volunteers from across the country who donates their time, talent, and generosity to support a new generation of students, engaging in discovery and serving the California Community’s future,” she said.  “Students are really touched by the commitment the board members and all the donors are making in support of our education.”

About CASE

CASE is one of the largest international associations of education institutions, serving more than 3,500 universities, colleges, schools, and related organizations in 76 countries.  CASE is the leading resource for professional development, information, and standards in the fields of alumni relations, communications, education fundraising and marketing.

About UC Davis

For more than 100 years, UC Davis has engaged in teaching, research and public service that matter to California and transform the world. Located close to the state capital, UC Davis has more than 33,000 students, more than 2,500 faculty and more than 21,000 staff, an annual research budget of nearly $750 million, a comprehensive health system and 13 specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and more than 100 undergraduate majors in four colleges — Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Letters and Science. It also houses six professional schools — Education, Law, Management, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.