With state support for public universities in decline, UCLA today relies on generosity more than ever to foster cutting-edge research and provide quality education. At times like this, we turn to great Californians like Lowell Milken. Our School of Law first approached Mr. Milken, a successful alumnus and generous donor whose philanthropy and commitment to education dates back three decades, for help. He gave us his time, as always, and was excited by our vision of enriching our business law and policy program. For Mr. Milken, this was never about him. He was always clear that putting his name on the door didn’t matter. Nonetheless, we chose to name the Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy after him, an honor we bestow on all substantive donors. But I have no doubt we would have received his gift had the institute remained nameless. His motivation, like ours, is promoting valuable faculty research and providing students with a world-class education. So Lowell Milken offered us $10 million, with no strings attached. While our staff goes through a routine process of evaluating every gift, there was never any question of whether to accept this one. Lowell Milken’s is a gift back to the university he loves and an investment in the future of California. That’s the kind of friend to UCLA Lowell Milken is. And that’s why we look forward to a long and enduring friendship with him that benefits all Californians.
This letter to the editor was printed in the Los Angeles Times on September 2, 2011. Read it here.