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Campaign Fuels Scholarship and Provides a Legacy for Future Readers

Author Neil Smelser, Trustees Stephen Arditti and James Naify, and UC Vice Provost Daniel Greenstein celebrate the success of the Voice for Great Ideas Campaign at the Wattis Room in San Francisco.

Author Neil Smelser, Trustees Stephen Arditti and James Naify, and UC Vice Provost Daniel Greenstein celebrate the success of the Voice for Great Ideas Campaign at the Wattis Room in San Francisco.

The successful completion of University of California Press’s $5 million A Voice for Great Ideas Campaign marks an unprecedented investment in UC Press’s long-term vision. The exceptional level of philanthropic support allows UC Press to continue its vital role of preserving and encouraging the best thinking and creativity of past, present, and future generations. Trustees, donors, authors, and other friends recently gathered in San Francisco for a festive celebration at the Wattis Room of Davies Symphony Hall. Their support is especially crucial now, when UC Press faces uncertain sales as a result of the economic downtown as well as the rapid transformation of the publishing industry. “UC Press makes the important ideas and research generated by this world-class university accessible to scholars, students, and a wide general audience,” University of California Vice Provost Dan Greenstein said at the celebration. “I would like to congratulate and thank all those who contributed to this exceptional milestone in University of California Press’s history.”

The ambitious campaign, launched by the UC Press Foundation Board of Trustees in 2006, was greeted with gifts from 215 generous friends throughout California, the United States, and beyond. $3.6 million will build UC Press’s endowment to support momentous publications in the arts and humanities and $1.6 million will seed the strategic expansion of programs in digital publishing, California and the West, and ecology and the environment. “I am deeply grateful to my fellow campaign chair Martin Paley and Michael McCone for their leadership and to the entire UC Press Foundation Board of Trustees for their enthusiastic support,” said UC Press Foundation Chair Jim Naify. “Through their hard work and commitment—together with the dedication of our many friends—the UC Press Foundation raised over $5.2 million to support important research and creative intellectual works.”

In its early stages, the campaign was given impetus by UC Press’s third prestigious challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, an unprecedented accomplishment among university presses. UC Press is deeply grateful to the campaign’s other lead benefactors who matched the challenge grant by contributing to humanities scholarship: The Ahmanson Foundation; UC President Emeritus and campaign Honorary Council member Richard C. Atkinson and his family; Barclay and Sharon Simpson; and The Fletcher Jones Foundation. “We are grateful to our benefactors—faced with the common goal of perpetuating the pursuit of ideas, beauty, and understanding of culture and community—for rising to the NEH challenge with exceptional generosity,” stated UC Press Director Lynne Withey.

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