Office of Research
Space Exploration Institute
A $20 million gift from an anonymous donor will support UC’s numerous initiatives in space exploration research. The gift is the largest bequest by an individual in UC’s history and establishes the Thomas Jefferson Endowed Chair in Space Exploration and the Alan B. Shepard Endowed Chair in Space Exploration.

A substantial portion of the funds are earmarked to create a Space Exploration Research Fund. The two chairs will be awarded on a competitive basis to researchers who epitomize the passionate and investigative natures of Jefferson and Shepard.

The Space Exploration Research Fund will create a long-term program that encourages collaboration among disciplines and enhances UC’s research excellence in specialties related to the exploration of space. The fund will also support educational programs and fellowships for students performing research in areas related to space exploration, establishing space exploration as a center of excellence at UC.