UCLA gets $100M gift for school, center

Jan. 26, 2011 at 4:22 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- An animal-feed tycoon is donating $100 million to the University of California at Los Angeles, the school announced Wednesday.

The gift from Meyer Luskin and his wife, Renee, will be split equally between the UCLA School of Public Affairs and a 282-room conference center and faculty club replacing the existing faculty center.

The donation is the second-largest ever to UCLA, after Hollywood mogul David Geffen's $200 million gift to the medical school, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The gift to the School of Public Affairs, which will be renamed for the couple, will fund graduate student financial aid and public policy, urban planning and social welfare teaching and research.

Meyer Luskin, an 85-year-old UCLA alumnus, heads Scope Industries, which recycles bakery waste into an ingredient in animal feed.

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block and other backers say the existing faculty club is outdated and the campus sorely needs a place to lodge visiting scholars.

Monday night, more than 100 people, including retired faculty who use the club, met there to oppose the plan. "A large hotel on the UCLA campus would be an embarrassment to the university at these times of great financial need," said biologist James Lake.

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