|[October 18, 2013]
University of the Pacific Receives $125 Million Gift
STOCKTON, Calif. --(Business Wire)--
University of the Pacific has received an estimated $125 million from
the estate of the late Robert and Jeannette Powell, the largest gift in
the university's 162-year history and among the biggest single bequests
to any institution of higher education in the United States.
University of the Pacific received a $125 million bequest from the estate of Robert and Jeannette Powell. The money will support scholarships and academic programs. (Photo: Business Wire)
With their gift, the Sacramento-area couple, who had no children and did
not graduate from college themselves, will endow scholarships to help
generations of students attend Pacific.
The gift also will create endowments for academic programs at Pacific,
including endowed professorships and chairs; support the Powell Scholars
Program, a prestigious honors program at the university established by
the Powells; and provide ongoing financial support for Pacific's
permanent art collection, including works newly donated from the
"This gift means the world to Pacific, and Pacific students are poised
to make a difference in the world," said university President Pamela A.
Eibeck. "Bob and Jeannette's transformative gift will help us continue
to advance in excellence and accessibility as we fulfill our mission of
educating the whole student - intellect, character and spirit - and of
going beyond our gates to enhance our communities. The university's
future success will honor their memory."
The son of a small business owner, Mr. Powell became a visionary
developer and entrepreneur after serving in the Air National Guard and
the U.S. Army. His landmark projects, including the Gold River, Campus
Commons and Selby Ranch communities and Pavilions shopping center,
transformed Sacramento. Mr. Powell died in 2007 at age 76, six months
after he and his wife announced their plan to make the bequest to
Mrs. Powell, a professional interior designer, worked on project built
by her husband and became an influential patron of the arts. With her
husband, she was a generous supporter of the Sacramento Ballet,
Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra, Crocker Art Museum and San Francisco
Museum of Modern Art. Her many contributions to Pacific all centered on
students, whom she urged to find and follow their passions. Mrs. Powell
died in December at age 80.
The Powells, who both served as regents of the university, made the
decision to leave their estate gift to Pacific in 2007. Originally
announced as a $100 million bequest, it has grown in value in the years
since. Today, the gift immediately boosts Pacific's endowment by more
than 50 percent -- to $337 million -- a stunning leap.
"A single gift of this magnitude would be significant to any
institution, but for a small private university with a modest endowment,
it is truly transformational," said Kristen Soares, president of the
Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities. "This
gift ensures that Pacific will build on its rich history and
contributions to California for generations to come, and secures its
legacy of leadership among California institutions of higher education."
University of the Pacific, first established as California Wesleyan
University, is the state's oldest chartered institution of higher
education. It was the state's first private college to open its doors to
women, and graduated the first co-educational class on the West Coast.
Its Conservatory of Music is the oldest in the West. In 1924, its move
from San Jose to Stockton made it the only four-year private university
serving the Central Valley. Today, Pacific has grown to include the
McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento and the Arthur A. Dugoni School of
Dentistry in San Francisco.
John P. Donovan, trustee of the Powell Family Trust, said that the
Powells would be gratified to see how their estate gift - and its power
to impact the university now and for generations ahead - has grown since
they first announced their bequest.
Civic leaders say that the $125 million gift will be transformational
for the region as well as the university.
"University of the Pacific's economic and cultural impact on Stockton
and the San Joaquin Valley is profound," said Kathleen Lagorio Janssen,
chair of the Board of Regents and one of the region's most prominent
business leaders. "Pacific has always been an important employer and a
vital intellectual center for the community. Bob and Jeannette's gift is
an investment not just in Pacific, but in our region."
The gift will fund scholarships and academic programs across the
university, including the seven schools in Stockton, Pacific McGeorge
School of Law in Sacramento and Pacific's Arthur A. Dugoni School of
Dentistry in San Francisco.
Gifts of this size are rare in higher education. According to the
Chronicle of Philanthropy's "America's Top Donors" database, only 15
other private colleges and universities in the United States have
received gifts of $125 million or more since 2005, the earliest year for
which the database provides gift information. Three of the institutions
were in California: Stanford University, University of Southern
California and Claremont McKenna College.
About University of the Pacific
Established in 1851 as the first university in California, University of
the Pacific prepares students for professional and personal success
through rigorous academics, small classes, and a supportive and engaging
culture. Widely recognized as one of the most beautiful private
university campuses in the West, the Stockton campus offers more than 80
undergraduate majors in arts and sciences, music, business, education
and engineering, computer science, pharmacy and health sciences.
Graduate programs offer advanced degrees across the disciplines. The
university's distinctive Northern California footprint also includes the
acclaimed Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco and the
McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. For more information, visit www.pacific.edu.
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/multimedia/home/20131018005924/en/
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