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How UCR’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign exceeded expectations, and what lies ahead.

By University Communications


CLICK HERE TO WATCH UCR students, staff, and faculty express their deep appreciation to all donors and alumni who contributed to the success of the $300 million Living the Promise campaign.

Living the Promise: The Campaign for UC Riverside publicly launched in 2016 and concluded at the end of 2020 having raised nearly $313 million. The generosity of the university’s donors has helped students receive financial aid, supported faculty research and creative activities, built new infrastructure around campus, and launched new university programs. Cumulatively, these impacts went a long way toward boosting UC Riverside’s profile, rocketing the university up several major rankings, including U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 lists, which named UCR the No.1 university in the United States for social mobility and the No. 34 public university overall.

“This is a critical milestone for UCR, especially for a first campaign with an ambitious target,” Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox said. “The success of Living the Promise will be manifest in the experience of UCR’s students and in the excellence of UCR’s research.”

Peter Hayashida, UCR’s vice chancellor for University Advancement, expressed gratitude for the more than 66,000 donors who gave during the campaign.

“We’ve reconnected previous supporters and engaged many new donors to fund the university’s mission during the campaign,” he said. “The visionary aspirations of academic leaders and unflagging support from UCR Foundation trustees and other key volunteers brought us to this remarkable moment in our fairly short history.”


UCR philanthropists discuss the power of philanthropy and their reasons for supporting America’s fastest rising university.

LTP Opening - Chelsea
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Chelsea Ramirez ’20; theatre, film
and digital production

Andrew and Michael LeMond
Memorial Scholar
Dr. Manuela and Randy Sosa Scholar

“Thank you for all that you’ve done for me, and for the hope that you’ve instilled in my heart. I hope you see through my education ... and its fruits that I am endlessly grateful, and I hope to make you proud.”

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Skyler Lewis ’20, biology
Stan Morrison Scholar

“My education means everything to me, and I hope to make a change in my community, so thank you so much for allowing me to make that happen.”

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Diana Medina-Yerena ’20, biochemistry
Dr. Manuela and Randy Sosa Scholar

“Thank you for all of the financial support you have provided me. This aid has helped me tremendously in allowing me to focus on my education, my research, and my volunteerism over the years.”

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Giovanna Barajas ’20, political science
S. Sue Johnson Scholar

“I want to thank the donors from the bottom of my heart for helping students like me who just want to succeed in college but need help paying for it. This has really made a positive impact in my life.”

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Patrick Samones ’23, medicine
Carl S. Fuglie Memorial Scholar

“I always felt that my dreams of being a doctor were impossible. I chose UC Riverside as my medical school because my mission was to give back to the community that raised me. That’s why this scholarship means so much to me. Being recognized for my academic efforts gives me validation I need to keep moving forward despite my disadvantaged background.”

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August Schlott ’21, linguistics
Dr. Eugene A. Moynier Student Award Scholar

“I want to personally thank you so much for this funding. I was able to focus a lot less about my tuition, and as a result my mental health has improved dramatically, and then in turn my academics have gotten better. Overall, I feel like so much better of a person.”

Scots on the Rocks Coctail

CLICK HERE TO WATCH Scots on the Rocks. Discover fun facts about UCR’s world-renowned citrus research while learning to craft the perfect cocktail — in this case, the Scots on the Rocks.

The stories in this issue of UCR Magazine explore the many ways Living the Promise has made an impact across campus and beyond, highlighting the campaign’s themes: From Genomics to Harvest, Emerging Technologies, Health and Wellness, Renewable Nature, Social Innovation and Empowerment, New Voices and Visions, Student Success, and Research Support. While Living the Promise may have come to an end, the job of ensuring UCR can build on its accomplishments and enjoy an even brighter future remains vital. Private fundraising has become essential for public universities, which once were funded largely by taxpayers. State support for University of California campuses dropped from 84% in 1990 to 42% at the beginning of 2020 — before the pandemic’s unprecedented strain on state revenues. A budget shortfall of $46 million is expected this year, with a larger reduction next year.

“Reaching our campaign dollar goal is an achievement of which we’re very proud,” said Marie Schultz ’98, associate vice chancellor for development. “But we realize that the acute need for private donations lies ahead; perhaps more so than at any other time in the 66-year history of UCR.

But for now, dive in and enjoy learning about some of the exciting ways philanthropy has inspired UCR’s community of scholars throughout the campaign. 

You can also watch all the programming from our campaign celebration weekend below:
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Seeds of Promise Panel