Gifting the UA’s Place in History

Katy Smith, UA Foundation, Jacob Chinn photo

When donors Alan ’74 and Janice Levin met Dr. Clara Curiel and learned about the UA associate professor of dermatology’s work studying and treating skin cancer, they were moved to endow a chair for excellence in cancer research.

“Alan was so impressed with her and what she was doing at the UA Cancer Center, and I felt the same,” Janice Levin says. “We hope the endowment makes a difference in finding a cure or treatment for skin cancer.”  

Endowed chairs, established with a minimum $1 million donation, provide increased resources and research flexibility for named faculty and their departments at the University.

“The only way to get a handle on this terrible disease is through research,” says Janice Levin, who lost her sister to cancer almost 25 years ago. 

“I really feel that if my sister had been diagnosed in the last few years she would still be here, because the treatments for breast cancer have improved so much,” she says.

Through Arizona NOW, private donors are establishing endowments that provide a financial bedrock and help protect the University during fluctuations in the economy. Endowed gifts fulfill donors’ wishes to support students, faculty, or programs year after year using investment income and gains earned on the gifts’ principal amounts, referred to as payouts. They also give the UA unmatched opportunities to retain and attract exceptional faculty members. 

The UA has 114 endowed chairs and, at $673 million, the UA’s endowment ranks in the lowest third of a group of 15 peer institutions, including many in the Pac-12. 

Growing the endowment not only helps secure economic stability, it also creates more support today. Students are the largest group of recipients, and they’ve never needed scholarship funds more. Since 1998, the state has gone from paying 88 percent of resident students’ education costs to 34 percent, according to the Arizona Board of Regents. After student aid, research and faculty receive the most income from endowed funds. 

Endowed Chairs 

What better way to help create a rich breeding ground for innovation and an accessible path to meaningful careers for students? 

Learn how professors Clara Curiel, Wolfgang Fink, and George Ruyle are using endowed funds to address humanity’s most pressing challenges and open doors to new discovery for students.