Beverly Hills billionaires give UC Davis $50 million to build agricultural research hub
Updated 12:07 pm, Monday, March 18, 2015
Beverly Hills billionaires are giving an agricultural research center in the Central Valley an $50 million gift to help the University of California and the University of California Cooperative Extension Service build it.
Their gift to the university — made in honor of a UC Davis alumnus who died last week — will go toward establishing a new division of the university in the college of agriculture, providing researchers in the field of plant, soil and water.
The new UC Davis Agricultural Research Center for Excellence will be located at the former UC Davis Farm, a 45-acre farm built in the early 1930s, and was named for UC Davis Professor W.E.B. DuBois, a pioneering agricultural scientist and author of The Science of Culture.
The money will come from California donors Charles and David Koch, who are known for their political influence and support of conservative causes.
The University of California did not disclose the amount of the gift, but called it a “historic gift” and a “major milestone.”
“The University of California’s commitment to agriculture is stronger and more robust than ever today,” said Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, who has been on the UC Davis campus since 2002. “A new Agricultural Research Center will advance our agricultural research, research networks and the public benefit of our world-class discoveries.”
The Koch brothers have been major sources of money for President-elect Donald Trump, who is the head of a leading conservative economic policy group.
The pair of brothers, who live in Wichita, Kansas, have donated millions of dollars to Republicans in the past year after they made the news as major donors to tea party groups during their election campaign.
The donation to UC Davis was first reported by The News.
The Kochs also gave $100 million to two other universities last year — to Stanford