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Mr. Stevens Goes to Washington
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Winter 2000
The View from Murphy Hall
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Q: This brings us to Campaign UCLA. We're now 18 months away from the end of the Campaign. Already, the goal of $1.2 billion has been reached, and it has been increased to $1.6 billion. To what do you attribute this phenomenal success?

A: One might be prone to say that it's because the financial markets have done so well, but I think it is much more than that. I think the most important factor is the uniqueness of UCLA. There is no other public university of the quality of UCLA that draws support from such a major metropolitan area. The people of Los Angeles and Southern California in particular, whether they are alumni or not, feel a connection to this university and want it to be excellent. They also want this university to be more involved in their communities.

We have received many gifts, large and small, and each makes a significant contribution. There have been some very generous gifts from people who never even attended UCLA - Lew and Edie Wasserman, for example. They are not alumni of UCLA or of any other college or university, but they made a $10-million gift for undergraduate scholarships. They recognize that it is important for this university to be excellent and to educate students who might not have the means to come here on their own.

And there was the gift for the arts from Eli and Edythe Broad. Again, they are not alumni of UCLA, but they are people who care deeply about the arts in the Los Angeles area and deeply about education. This level of appreciation of UCLA as the public university in the heart of this vital community is something we underestimated.

Q: Having raised the goal of the Campaign, are you concerned about the possibility of donor fatigue?

A: You do worry about how it will be interpreted; perhaps people will think we have raised the goal simply because we can, rather than because we have very real needs. But I think people have come to understand that the needs we have at UCLA are far greater than the $1.2-billion goal we originally set. At the time that goal was set, it was considered an extraordinarily ambitious stretch to go for $1.2 billion. It was the largest campaign ever undertaken by any public university anywhere.

But even with the goal at that level, there were unmet needs. By raising the goal, we hope to address some of those needs. We are seeking funds, in particular, for capital improvements in the College of Letters and Science. There's so much building and construction that has taken place to meet seismic requirements, yet there also are programmatic needs. We must have a new physics and astronomy building and new facilities for the life sciences. We also want to raise as much as we can for student scholarships, particularly for graduate-student support. And we need funds for faculty support, including endowed chairs and funds for research. Our libraries need help. So you can see, there is still a lot that remains to be done.


2005 The Regents of the University of California