The University of California San Francisco (UCSF) received its largest ever donation this week, from the foundation created by late Bay Area philanthropist Helen Diller. The gift is not just a landmark for UCSF, but also is one of the largest charitable gifts every given to an American university.
The gift is unique in that it has no specific restrictions. $200 million of the donation will go towards providing UCSF with resources to attract and retain world-class faculty. This money will also provide crucial start-up funding for Helen Diller Scholars, a group of talented junior faculty at the beginning of their careers who are in need of funding to kick off independent research programs.
$200 million will also go towards supporting students attending the Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy schools. Eight-four percent of students enrolled in those programs receive financial aid. This funding will go towards scholarship and financial aid programs so that students graduate with less debt.
The remaining $100 million will go towards the establishment of an “Innovation Fund,” which will support investments in new tools and technologies, that will support the cutting edge research of sciences like genomic surgery to address genetic diseases.
“My mother was dedicated to UCSF, and to many other causes aimed at improving the lives and well-being of others through education, science and the arts, and I know this latest gift would be enormously gratifying to her,” said Helen Diller’s daughter, Jackie Safier, president of the Helen Diller Foundation board and a member of the UCSF Foundation Board of Overseers.
Helen Diller was born at San Francisco’s Mount Zion Hospital – now part of UCSF – and passed away in 2015. Her foundation supported a wide variety of causes in education, science and the arts. A prior donation of $35 million in 2003 was used to establish the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University’s Mission Bay Campus.
“The Diller family has made an indelible mark on UCSF’s future,” said UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS. “They have provided us with endowment funds that will enable us to continue to seek out and offer ongoing support to the brightest faculty and students over the coming decades and be positioned to seize opportunities with innovation funds to advance medical research.The benefits of this commitment to UCSF faculty and students, and also to our patients, will resonate in perpetuity.”charitydonationeducationHelen DillermedicineUCSF