In all seasons, UCLA counts cross-campus collaboration as an asset to education, research, and service. During the COVID-19 pandemic, those partnerships have become even more invaluable — and generous donors have made many of them possible by giving more than $19 million for UCLA’s response.
From Care to Clinical Trials
In the early phases of the pandemic, UCLA needed additional resources to ramp up capacity to care for patients with COVID-19. Within one month of launching COVID-19 appeals, donors, foundations, corporations, and local businesses answered the call with more than 3,900 cash gifts and hundreds of offers of personal protective equipment, food, and other supplies.
Behind the scenes, faculty pivoted their research to shared COVID-19 priorities, expediting clinical trials for treatments, examining risks among specific populations, and educating local leaders and media. Engineering, data science, medicine, and epidemiology experts created an app to track virus spread. Another health, engineering, and dentistry team, with help from UCLA Library’s Lux Lab, developed a reusable face shield produced on 3D printers, which were purchased with help from donors.
All Hands on Deck
On the learning front, UCLA students faced tremendous challenges as classes transitioned to remote platforms, employment options narrowed, and family members needed care. UCLA College established a new Bruin Tech Fund to supply essential technology for remote learning. The fund, which garnered support from 14 campus units in addition to individual donors, has provided undergraduates with laptops, tablets, and Wi-Fi hotspots.
To meet basic needs, UCLA’s Economic Crisis Response Fund received more than $279,000 from nearly 700 donors by the end of the fiscal year, covering items such as food, rent, hygiene products, and medical care for thousands of students. Other efforts have raised funds for student services, including counseling, international student support, and grocery gift card distribution.
Philanthropy also has enabled faculty in a range of fields to deploy their expertise during the pandemic. Benefiting from the recent Centennial Campaign, public affairs and law researchers have produced several reports and resources related to COVID-19 and its effects on communities. Meanwhile, UCLA’s public arts institutions, the Center for the Art of Performance, Hammer Museum, and Fowler Museum, have been sharing productions and pieces with a virtual audience.
Around the world, COVID-19 is proving an unprecedented challenge. Across campus, UCLA’s faculty and friends are rising to meet it.
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Published October 2020