April 29, 2016

Quiet Phase, Resounding Results

The impact of philanthropic contributions made during the quiet phase of the Break Through campaign has been felt throughout the campus community.

Furnishing an enduring source of discretionary funds for Caltech leaders with the creation of endowed leadership chairs for the president, provost, and all six division chairs as well as The Ronald and Maxine Linde Center for New Initiatives.

One of the things that sets Caltech apart is its tradition of concentrating resources to empower people who dream big and take calculated risks. Instead of underwriting salary, leadership chairs provide a reliable source of funds that chair holders can invest in powerful ideas and areas of untapped opportunity—from launching an interdisciplinary graduate program in neurobiology to faculty start-up packages and opportunities for students to study abroad.

Similarly, The Linde Center for New Initiatives provides resources Caltech’s president and provost can use to make smart bets on promising academic enterprises and equip faculty and students with the support they need to pursue transformative investigations.

Bolstering student aid with the creation of 37 new endowed undergraduate scholarship funds.

Increased financial support for undergraduates helps preserve Caltech’s need-blind admissions policy and opens doors of opportunity for bright, hardworking students whatever their economic circumstances.

Supporting tomorrow’s scientists and engineers with the endowment of 39 new graduate fellowship funds.

Graduate students accelerate research and inspire their mentors as well as fellow students to approach problems in imaginative ways. Caltech’s long-term goal is to endow fellowships for all of its graduate students, giving them the freedom and flexibility to follow their curiosity independent of the vicissitudes of federal research funding.

A transformational $100 million endowment gift from Caltech trustees Gordon (PhD ’54) and Betty Moore—the largest campaign gift received to date and the second-largest single contribution in Caltech’s history—has been used to create a 2:1 matching fellowship challenge. When fulfilled, the match will generate a total of $300 million for endowed graduate fellowships at Caltech, a major step toward the goal of endowing fellowships for every graduate student at the Institute.

Ensuring that Caltech can continue to recruit and retain top faculty with the establishment of 12 new professorial chairs.

Endowed chairs support the work of distinguished professors, giving Caltech an advantage in maintaining a faculty of the most creative, accomplished, and impactful scholars.

Expanding diversity.

Caltech’s leaders believe that a diverse scientific and technological community is essential to the future of our country and the world. Campaign donors have enhanced diversity on many levels, from supporting the Freshman Summer Research Institute—which prepares incoming students from underrepresented and/or underserved backgrounds to succeed at Caltech—to helping fund a program focused on increasing diversity among the Institute’s postdoctoral scholars.

Opening up new realms of scholarship through interdisciplinary centers and institutes.

Programs established or amplified with gifts and pledges made during the quiet phase include:

  • The Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics, where scientists are investigating the most enigmatic workings of nature, from the birth of our universe to the elusive world of quantum phenomena;
  • The Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies, which brings together scholars from across Caltech to explore the potential of robotics to improve people’s everyday lives and expand our understanding of Earth, our solar system, and beyond;
  • The Heritage Research Institute for the Advancement of Medicine and Science at Caltech, which creates a community of scientists and engineers who collaborate with each other and with local physicians to hasten the translation of laboratory findings into applications that promote better health;
  • The Ronald and Maxine Linde Institute of Economic and Management Sciences, a hub for interdisciplinary research and education in business and economics;
  • The Resnick Sustainability Institute, which supports cross-campus collaborations to bring about transformational advances in energy science and technology through research, education, and communication; and
  • The Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Bioengineering Center, where experts in applied physics, chemical engineering, synthetic biology, computer science, and more generate solutions to some of the biggest problems in science, medicine, and sustainability.

Building upon the successes of the quiet phase, the public phase of Break Through: The Caltech Campaign will draw gifts at every level—from leadership contributions to annual gifts that, combined, will ensure that Caltech faculty and students can continue to transform our world.