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June 4, 2001

Long Marine Lab celebrates completion of new facilities

By Tim Stephens

Funding from private foundations and individual donors has enabled UCSC to build two vital new facilities at Long Marine Laboratory over the past two years: the Seymour Marine Discovery Center, which opened to the public last year, and the Center for Ocean Health, a recently completed research center. In a ceremony last week, the UCSC Foundation, which raised the funds and oversaw the construction of the new facilities, officially transferred legal title to the buildings to the UC Regents.

Paul Irwin, outgoing president of the UCSC Foundation, took part in a ceremony marking the completion of new facilities at Long Marine Lab.
Photo: Victor Schiffrin, UCSC Photo Services
The Seymour Marine Discovery Center opened to the public last year. Photo: Peter Macht.
"This project is a truly exciting example of the successful public-private partnerships that are helping UCSC build its research, teaching, and public service capacity," said Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood. "I am very grateful to the Foundation for stewarding these projects; to the Friends of Long Marine Lab for their ongoing support; and to all the others who contributed their time and other resources."

Foundation president Paul Irwin said the ability to raise nearly $14 million in private funding for these projects reflects a broad base of support for UCSC and its marine science programs. As Foundation president, co-chair of the capital campaign comittee, and a member of the capital projects committee, Irwin played a significant role in making the new facilities a reality.

"I feel we've helped provide the facilities needed for Long Marine Lab to reach its full potential as a major West Coast marine research and education center," Irwin said.

Transferring the deed for the buildings to the university was one of Irwin's last acts as Foundation president, capping a highly productive two-year term. At a subsequent Foundation meeting, he handed over the gavel to incoming president Dave Regan. The UCSC Foundation is a nonprofit, public-benefit corporation organized in 1974. Its purposes are to promote greater community understanding of UCSC and to solicit gifts in support of academic programs, scholarships, and capital improvements.

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation provided the bulk of the funding for construction of the $7.3 million Center for Ocean Health and was also a major donor for the Seymour Center. Other philanthropic foundations that made major contributions to the Seymour Center include the Kresge Foundation, the Joseph M. Long Foundation, and the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation. Additional philanthropic opportunities still exist to underwrite capital costs for the Center for Ocean Health and to sponsor education programs at the Seymour Center.

Many individual donors contributed to the campaign for the Seymour Center, which has enabled Long Marine Lab to greatly expand its popular public education programs. H. Boyd Seymour provided the cornerstone gift in honor of his father and grandfather. Other major donors include Leanore Theriot Hooper and the late Emmet T. Hooper; Paul and Anne Irwin; David and Rebecca Kashtan; Anne and Paul Levin; the late Zoe Ann Orr Marcus; Frances B. McAllister; Phyllis Simpkins and the late Alan Simpkins; and Richard and Mary Solari.

Gary Griggs, director of UCSC's Institute of Marine Sciences, said the new facilities fill longstanding needs at Long Marine Lab. Before the opening of the Seymour Center, for example, the lab's visitor programs were expanding rapidly, attracting 30,000 visitors annually despite limited facilities and a lack of formal exhibit space. Since its opening in March 2000, more than 65,000 people have visited the center, and its school programs and other special programs for children have been completely booked. New family programs and tours are being added this summer.

The Center for Ocean Health replaces outdated research and support facilities that had been housed in temporary trailers for more than 20 years. The new 23,000-square-foot facility includes offices, laboratories, a computer room, and a conference room/classroom. It will accommodate Long Marine Lab staff as well as faculty, researchers, and graduate students with research interests in the area of ocean health.

"These new buildings are truly the realization of a dream," Griggs said.

The Packard Foundation grant for the Center for Ocean Health was received while the Seymour Center was under construction, so the architectural and construction team that was already in place (SRG Partnership and Bogard Construction) was engaged for the new project. The resulting savings in time and money were critical to the project's success, Griggs said.

Chancellor Greenwood noted the crucial role played by the Foundation's capital projects committee, led by Jack Baskin, in successfully completing these projects.

"We have been extremely fortunate to have, as members of the committee, some of the area's most experienced fundraisers and builders," Greenwood said. "They succeeded in creating two outstanding buildings that have transformed Long Marine Lab, and they did so in a way that maximized the impact of the generous individual and foundation support for the project."

In addition to Baskin and Irwin, the capital projects committee included George Malloch, Dave Regan, Bob Simpkins, and Ed Thayer.

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