During December, the Give to UC Merced 2020 initiative tripled the campus’s goal of raising $50,000. The final tally: $163,000 raised for a variety of campus initiatives and programs.
The fundraising initiative has traditionally been held on a single day, but in 2020 it was expanded to one month with an online focus and social media-driven effort because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The campus has raised more than $1.8 million over the past seven years to support students and campus initiatives.
Give to UC Merced 2020 drew 487 donors, surpassing the goal of 250 donors. Of those, 133 were campus friends, 134 were staff or faculty, 121 were UC Merced alumni, 54 were parents and 45 were students.
“The UC Merced community — and in particular our alumni — truly came together in an amazing way to support our students, despite the challenges of the past year,” said E. Edward Klotzbier, vice chancellor for External Relations. “Our team was creative and flexible in finding new ways to connect campus needs with both existing and new supporters, and we saw the result in the amount raised.”
Donations targeted an array of initiatives and programs, funding scholarships and fellowships, the arts, athletics, academics and research, and more. Many donors gave to more than gift, supporting multiple areas.
Graduate fellowships received the most donations with $36,000 contributed.
“We are thankful for the overwhelming generosity and support for graduate education and research at UC Merced,” interim Vice Provost and Graduate Dean Chris Kello said. “The funds raised for fellowships will support the campus’s goal of increasing doctoral degree conferrals by assisting recruitment, retention and timely degree completion for excellent graduate students."
Nearly 30 donors offered matches and issued challenges, ranging from $50 to $15,000, to make an even greater impact:
- UC Merced Foundation Board Trustee Robert Bernstein, M.D., and Diplomat Jane Binger, Ed.D., gave matching gifts to support two funds: Central Valley Graduate Fellowship and Office of Leadership, Service and Career;
- Trustee Kenni Friedman matched gifts benefitting the Student Emergency Fund;
- Trustee Art Kamangar gave a challenge gift;
- Kello gave a matching gift to support the Graduate Dean’s Fellowship Endowment;
- Parent Peony Li matched to Undergraduate Scholarship Fund;
- Trustee John Loll and Diplomat Jane Bielke-Loll gave challenge gifts to support the Central Valley Graduate Fellowship, Graduate Dean’s Fellowship Endowment and Graduate Fellowship to Undocumented Students;
- Trustee Jack Oswald matched gifts and had a challenge gift benefitting the UC Merced Fund;
- Alumnus Thomas Peev, ’16, matched gifts to the School of Engineering Scholarship Fund;
- Trustee Fred Ruiz and Diplomat Mitzie Ruiz gave a matching gift to support three funds: Graduate Dean’s Fellowship Endowment, Undergraduate Scholarship Fund and Oxygen Fund;
- Campus friend Carolyn Vara committed to match $5 per gift from the first 400 student and alumni donors;
- Trustee Denise Watkins matched gifts benefitting the University Friends Circle Student Impact Fund;
- Interim Vice Chancellor of Office of Research and Economic Development Marjorie Zatz gave a matching gift to support the Graduate Fellowship to Undocumented Students; and
- Sixteen members of the UC Merced Alumni Association Board provided matching funds for the Class of 2020 Gift.
While the Give to UC Merced 2020 campaign has ended, you can still support UC Merced programs and initiatives by donating online.