Beverly Hills billionaires give UC Davis $50 million to build agricultural research hub by Matt Agorist on Sep 25, 2014 at 6:34 AM
The $50 million UC Davis gift to researchers and scientists at the California university’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences may make history. The gift — the largest university gift in the university’s history — is helping ensure UC Davis advances agriculture research under the leadership of the dean, a man widely known for his contributions to teaching and research.
The $50 million gift from the Walton Family Foundation helped pay for new research labs and facilities, such as a new, state-of-the-art greenhouse in Davis, the building that houses the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
There are five lab facilities on campus that are named after Walton family members: the Charles E. and Elizabeth M. (Betsy) Leland Center, the George W. and Martha Jefferson Center for Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and the Sam W. and Nancy C. Walton Center.
The George W. and Sam W. Walton Center for Agricultural Research is the largest building on campus and houses more than 1,500 scientists and researchers working on research that “relates to agriculture, environmental sciences, and other areas of economic and ecological importance.”
The dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is Dr. David R. Fuss, who was appointed to the position of dean in 2012. Fuss previously worked as an applied physics professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder and has been a UC Davis professor since 1999. In his new position, Dean Fuss has been a voice for science and technology on the Sacramento campus.
Fuss has a history of advocating for science and education and a record of helping students develop both. As a college student in the early 1990s, Fuss developed a course titled “Environmental Science,” which was the school’s first course dedicated to environmental sciences.
The student organization that created the course, Environmental Science at UC Davis, was recognized in 1993 by the U.S. Department of Education, for “advancing environmental science in the sciences