Asumag 2315 Helen Diller Bw

$500 million gift to University of California San Francisco

Jan. 12, 2017
The donation from the Helen Diller Foundation is the largest ever made to the school.
Helen Diller

The university says that most of the new commitment, $400 million, will establish endowments in Helen Diller’s name to support faculty and students This new commitment increases UCSF’s endowment, which stands at $2.25 billion, by nearly 18 percent. 

The endowed funds will be used in the following ways: A $200 million endowment will create a significant stream of faculty support in perpetuity. Of this, $100 million will be used to retain outstanding professors and recruit preeminent faculty to UCSF by funding Helen Diller Distinguished Professorships.

Another $100 million of endowment will provide crucial start-up money for the Helen Diller Faculty Scholars program for early- and mid-career scientists.

An additional $200 million of endowment will support students at the university's four professional schools: Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy.

The final $100 million will create an Innovation Fund, which can be drawn on, over time, at the discretion of the university chancellor.

“Unrestricted funds give me the flexibility and agility to respond to the rapid changes in the health sciences,” says Chancellor Sam Hawgood. “These funds will seed areas that will redefine the future of healthcare and could support priorities ranging from genomic surgery to cell engineering, from immunotherapy to microbiome research, and from neuro-technology to next-generation diagnostics for infectious and inflammatory diseases.”

This is the second time a grant in honor of Helen DIller has made UCSF history. In 2003, the Helen Diller Foundation made a $35 million donation to support what is now the Helen Diller Family Cancer Research Building and prostate cancer research. 

Since 2003, the Helen Diller Foundation has made significant annual gifts and provided for a permanent endowment for the Cancer Center in Helen’s honor. Those gifts have totaled more than $150 million. 

Helen Diller posthumously received the UCSF Medal, several months after she died in 2015, for her outstanding contributions to health.

“This gift, in her name, will promote all that Helen stood for – education, hope, healing – for generations to come,” says Hawgood. “On behalf of all of us in the UCSF family, we are humbled to help fulfill her legacy.”

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