University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Faculty Ideas Inspire Record-Breaking Year for UCSF's Campaign

By | December 23, 2018

Faculty Ideas Inspire Record-Breaking Year for UCSF's Campaign

UCSF staffers distribute t-shirts at the campus launch event for UCSF: The Campaign in 2017. From left to right: Toshonna Ross, Peggy Huey, Krista Dow and Dresden Joswig. Photo by Elisabeth Fall

In the year since announcing an ambitious, $5 billion fundraising campaign, UC San Francisco has seen record-breaking generosity from its supporters, inspired by faculty-led ideas to tackle some of the toughest problems in health and science.

The University publicly launched UCSF: The Campaign, its first comprehensive fundraising campaign in more than a decade, in October 2017 to help sustain its excellence and build for its future.

Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS, announced this past October that UCSF had raised $1.2 billion, counting gifts, grants and pledges in fiscal year 2018, making it one of only a handful of universities to have ever reached the billion-dollar threshold in a single year. During this period, it received more than 185,000 campaign gifts from nearly 113,000 donors – 70,000 of whom were new to UCSF.

While these successes underscore the boldness of the ideas that are inspiring the university’s donors, they also tell a story about the UCSF community. With the help of faculty-led planning committees, more than 180 ideas submitted by the campus community during the campaign’s planning phase were shaped into three thematic areas: Decoding Life to Improve HealthLeveraging Discovery to Revolutionize Care, and Partnering to Achieve Health Equity. Threading throughout these campaign goals is the importance of sustaining support for our students and faculty, the drivers of UCSF’s future.

“More and more faculty members have been approaching me – not as individuals with their own ideas for funding, but rather as teams with a well-thought-out collaborative vision about how they plan to work together to tackle even larger, more complex problems,” said Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS, during his 2018 State of the University Address.

“I’m pleased that during this campaign we’ve already raised more than $1 billion in professorships, scholarships and other support for our brilliant minds, more funding than any other area of the campaign,” added Hawgood. “Although some of this support comes in the form of pledges paid in the years ahead, our strong focus on endowment will allow us to compete head-to-head with private institutions with much longer histories of raising money for faculty and student support.”

A noteworthy gift in that area was made by Michelle Rhyu, an alumna of UCSF’s PhD program, and her husband, Stephen C. Neal, as part of an inaugural campaign to support the recruitment and retention of women in discovery science.

Philanthropy-Funded Projects in Motion

Last February, the University announced a remarkable $500 million commitment from the Helen Diller Foundation to support the planning, design and construction of a new, world-class hospital at Parnassus Heights.

The gift ensures that UCSF will continue to provide premier patient care in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. The extensive planning process is now underway for an architecturally outstanding, patient-focused and environmentally sustainable hospital, with the goal of opening before 2030.

The world-class medical treatment at all UCSF’s campuses is driven by cutting-edge discovery that also is being fueled by philanthropy. Funded by a significant gift, the new Bakar ImmunoX Initiative will enable clinicians and scientists to analyze the role of the immune system across diseases from cancer to chronic viral infections to immune-mediated neurodegeneration. The resources made possible by ImmunoX will drive a revolutionary approach to team science and set the standard for other institutions.