The University of California, Berkeley has announced that it has completed fundraising for the Hewlett Challenge more than two years ahead of schedule.
Launched in 2007 with $110 million — the largest private gift in the university's history — from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the dollar-for-dollar challenge called on alumni and other supporters to make matching gifts of $1 million to $1.5 million as part of an effort to create a hundred endowed faculty chairs within seven years. Five years later, the fundraising effort had generated more than $220 million for faculty chairholders and their departments and students. Funds raised for the new chairs, of which sixty-nine have been appointed, have been deployed in a variety of ways, from support for teaching and research by distinguished faculty, to financing and testing new technologies, to providing financial aid and competitive fellowships to top-notch graduate students.
In addition to the $110 million matching gift, the Hewlett Foundation also earmarked $3 million for the costs of setting up a professional infrastructure to manage and ensure strong stewardship of the university's endowment. The $220 million generated by the challenge will be counted toward the $3 billion Campaign for Berkeley, which to date has raised more than $2.6 billion toward its $3 billion goal.
"The chair provides validation and recognition that engineering innovation and world-class technology can be used to improve the lives of people at the bottom of the economic order," said Ashok Gadgil, who holds the Andrew and Virginia Rudd Family Foundation Distinguished Chair in Safe Water and Sanitation. "It also aligns with the university's bigger vision to produce leaders and to apply our intellectual energy and intellectual prowess in such a diverse range of areas toward making a better world."