UCSB campus A As part of the Campaign for UC Santa Barbara — the most ambitious fundraising effort in the university's history—campaign leaders are appealing to alumni who benefited from a strongly state-supported education to give back to their alma mater in these tight times.

The response from generous Gauchos has helped push the campaign to $740 million as of September 2012 — three quarters of the way to the goal of $1 billion.

The largest donation in campus history — $50 million given by Oracle Board Chairman Jeff Henley, ’66, and his wife, honorary alum Judy Henley, for the College of Engineering and the Institute for Energy Efficiency — helped make the 2012 fiscal year a banner one for fundraising at UCSB. More recently, John Arnhold, '75, and his wife, Jody, pledged $1.75 million to the Department of English to support existing initiatives and establish the Arnhold Endowment for Excellence in English.

“We're seeing a deeper investment from our alumni," says Beverly J. Colgate, UC Santa Barbara’s Associate Vice Chancellor for Development. Alumni have given 9 percent of the campaign total — a contribution that Colgate would like to see rise to around 15 percent.

“My hope is that everyone will lead by example,” Academy Award-winner Michael Douglas, ’68, said in a videotaped message played at the kickoff of the campaign's public phase. Douglas, who is serving as the campaign’s Honorary Chair, gave $500,000 this year to establish an endowed chair for the Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts. “It is private support that will provide the critical margin of excellence to achieve our potential as a world-class university,” he says.

"We're calling it a transformative campaign," says Colgate, who expects the $1 billion goal to be reached in 2016.

When many alumni attended the university — during the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s — it enjoyed strong funding from the state, Colgate adds. Twenty years ago, state contributions made up more than half of the university’s funding; now they account for less than 20 percent.

"Private support is more critical now than ever,” Colgate says.

Alumni can also help by attending campaign events — a couple dozen are held around California every year — where they can meet faculty and find out how to get more involved, Colgate says. She also encourages alumni to return as guest speakers or mentors — giving back by “bringing the expertise they got after they left campus back here.”

For more information on the Campaign for UC Santa Barbara, call (800) 641-1204, emailcampaign@ucsb.edu or go to www.ia.ucsb.edu/campaign/.

By Anna Davidson

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