Beverly Hills billionaires give UC Davis $50 million to build agricultural research hub
Billionaires like the founders of Gail and Gerry Lenfest and the Lenfest brothers have been busy raising the money for a $50 million dollar agricultural research facility in the sleepy farming community of Corral. Now the University of California has committed the $50 million to a campus ‘hub’ that will serve as a gateway for both students enrolled in the university’s five-year Master of Science degree programs in entomology and plant sciences, and for researchers from all over California.
Though the University of California has been in the midst of an epic fundraising drive to build a new campus in Los Angeles since 2007, the university’s decision to establish one in Corral was not taken lightly. The university had been approached by numerous landowners and had been in discussion with the City of Los Angeles for a few years, but ultimately the university, which has about 22,000 students, decided that establishing a research facility in the city was the best use of the land and the money to build the Center for Environmental Research and Technology, (CERCAT), a three million dollar initiative.
“We know that what we are doing is the right thing,” said Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Dr. Susan Hines, in a recent interview with CNET that took place on the campus when the facility officially opened to the public. “We’ve been doing it for a long time and we have been extremely successful. We feel it’s really important to get the best results without having to expend a huge amount of money,” she continued.
In addition, the campus is designed to accommodate around 300 scientific research projects and nearly 1,000 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, according to the university.
Though the center will serve the agriculture industry, its primary job will be to attract graduate students to agriculture and plant sciences, who are among the university’s most in demand. In 2011, the university spent a total of $1.4 billion in scholarships and financial aid, with a $1.5 billion endowment. The university’s research