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UCLA receives $100M donation from alumni

January 26, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Two alumni donated $100 million to UCLA, marking the second largest gift in the school's history.

It's the kind of news that has students and staff at UCLA feeling a little bit better about the future, as the state contemplates further cuts to higher education.

Animal feed mogul Meyer Luskin and his wife Renee, both UCLA graduates, donated the money.

"Public education needs money, it's great," said Sari Sporo, a UCLA alumni.

Half of the gift will go to campus projects, and the other half will go to the School of Public Affairs, which will be renamed the Meyer and Renee Luskin School of Public Affairs.

"It feels great. Our staff, our faculty, our students have worked so hard, and in obscurity to some degree for so long, and for the Luskins to invest in us is a great honor," said Dean Frank Gilliam.

The school's first priority will be scholarships for students and retaining and adding to the faculty. The school will also try and advance the causes important to the Luskins.

"They're really concerned about the region and about the kinds of issues that are public in nature. How do we solve transportation? How do we solve the environment? How do we get K-12 into shape? How do we deal with poverty?" Gilliam said.

UCLA's School of Public Affairs is suddenly a popular place, and administrators know with that new recognition comes a lot of responsibility.

The largest gift UCLA has received was a $200 million donation by entertainment executive David Geffen to the medical school in 2002.