News, Events and the Impact of Giving
A periodic update on the Campaign for UC Santa Cruz for the campus community.
Sage Weil's open source philosophy, philanthropy
Sage Weil (PhD '07), who developed his computer science thesis project into the highly successful open-source software data storage system Ceph, is giving UC Santa Cruz $2.5 million to support research in open-source software. Weil's gift supports an endowed chair in open source software and research led by professor of computer science Carlos Maltzahn, who directs the Center for Research in Open Source Software. "It's great to see one of our students succeed in such a visible way, and then for him to give back to us in this way is just extraordinary," said Scott Brandt, vice chancellor for research at UC Santa Cruz. The gifts support the Data Science Leadership initiative at UC Santa Cruz.
Mapping our genomic differences
A $2 million gift to UC Santa Cruz from the W.M. Keck Foundation supports building of the Human Genome Variation Map. The new map will provide a means to name, identify, and analyze all common variations in the human genome, greatly enhancing both medical research and basic research in life sciences. The team is led by research scientist Benedict Paten and Distinguished Professor David Haussler. The gift comes as UC Santa Cruz celebrates the 15th anniversary of its assembly and posting of the first draft of the human genome. The Keck gift follows earlier support from the Simons Foundation in developing the project prototype. Generating support for the work of the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute is a Campaign priority.
A table's worth of chairs
When UC President Janet Napolitano announced a program to accelerate creation of endowed chairs on the UC campuses with matching funds of $500,000 per chair, UC Santa Cruz was first to take up the offer. And it has successfully matched donors with all eight chairs available. Chairs bring honor to the recipient and provide critical support for faculty and graduate students. Donors are funding chairs in each academic division and the library. The new chairs include:
- Richard L. Press University Librarian Presidential Chair held by UC Santa Cruz Librarian Elizabeth Cowell, funded by the Helen and Will Webster Foundation
- Sage Weil Presidential Chair for Open Source Software, funded by Sage Weil
- Symantec Presidential Chair in Storage and Security held by Professor Ethan Miller, funded by Symantec Corp.
Additional announcements and details are being finalized for chairs in the arts, humanities, agroecology, Natural Reserves, and physics.
Good news for Cowell Press
Alumna Patricia Rebele (Porter '88) and her husband, Rowland, gave $500,000 to the Cowell Press Endowment, which was established in 2013 by Cowell and Porter colleges to provide permanent support for the press. A center of hands-on creativity in typography and printing, the press is directed by poet and master printer Gary Young. The gift supports the Transformative Student Experience initiative of the Campaign for UC Santa Cruz.
A boost for pediatric cancer research
Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation has awarded the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute an innovation grant of $250,000 to advance research on two groundbreaking approaches for identifying treatment options for children with neuroblastoma. "Neuroblastoma is one of the most enigmatic pediatric cancers," said postdoctoral scholar Olena Morozova, project lead for the Treehouse Childhood Cancer Project in the genomics institute. "Despite extensive studies of patients' tumor DNA . . . we still lack treatment targets for the majority of high-risk neuroblastoma patients."
Glassbeam helping launch new data center
The machine data analytics company Glassbeam is providing seed funding of $50,000 to support the creation of a Center of Excellence in Data Science Research at UC Santa Cruz. Lise Getoor, professor of computer science and associate dean of research at UCSC's Baskin School of Engineering, announced plans for the center, to be called Data, Discovery, and Decisions (D3). "We are extremely pleased to help start this new center," said Kumar Malavalli, chairman and chief strategy officer of Glassbeam and a UC Santa Cruz Foundation Trustee. "I know that UC Santa Cruz has the best platform and resources to drive this industry in new and significant ways." Building resources for Data Science Leadership is a Campaign priority.
Showcasing the excellence of UC Santa Cruz
Events featuring the people and programs of UC Santa Cruz are powerful tools for sharing our knowledge and connecting with the public. They build our reputation and inspire donors to invest in our work. It is why the university presents events locally and regionally that feature our faculty, students, and alumni. The "Original Thinkers" series, launched in 2014, has showcased our excellence in the humanities, sciences, and arts. In the past year, more than a dozen faculty have been featured prominently at outreach events in Santa Cruz, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, DC. As new events are planned for the year ahead, faculty will again be invited to share their insights and research with the public — advancing the impact of their work and the mission of UC Santa Cruz.