By Sarah Colwell
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 UCD the winner of a silver 2013 Circle of Excellence award for its efforts related to the UC Davis Foundation Matching Fund for Student Support.
That matching fund was a $1 million-plus, universitywide fundraising initiative that was created by donations from current and emeriti members of the UCD Foundation Board of Trustees as well as university leaders. The initiative inspired nearly $4 million in gifts to come in for UCD 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 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 awards that acknowledge 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.
UCD was one of only four universities worldwide 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 graduate and now a retired businessman living in Saratoga. Edwards had the original vision for the matching fund initiative.
“I really feel, more so today than ever, that education is incredibly important and students need help,” he continued. “I’ve realized that together, we can make a big impact on future generations.”
The $1 million-plus UCD 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 UCD, who helped announce the matching fund 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.”