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Occidental College gets $5 million present on its 125th birthday

occidental college

Photo by waltarrrrr via Flickr Creative Commons

Occidental College in Eagle Rock celebrates its 125th anniversary on Friday with the announcement of a $5 million donation to create a new international center. The largest gift ever made to the school from a living alumnus was donated by Ian and Sonnet McKinnon.

"This new center will really be a place where we can bring distinguished speakers, where we can develop a curriculum that really reaches out to the world. And that curriculum really would begin with the city itself. Los Angeles is one of the great global cities," said college's president Jonathan Veitch.

The nearly 100-year-old Johnson Hall will be renovated and renamed the McKinnon Family Center for Politics and Global Affairs, notes the L.A. Times


Lisa Brenner can be reached via Twitter @lisa_brenner


UCLA's Public Health school is gifted a healthy sum of money


Photo by Chris Radcliff via Flickr Creative Commons

¡Ay, caramba! Dwarfing Matt Groening's recent $500,000 donation to UCLA's School of Film, Theater and Television, L.A. County's top public health doctor Dr. Jonathan Fielding, and his wife, Karin Fielding, are giving the California university $50 million to fund the School of Public Health. Worst. Upstage. Ever.

"I am humbled by the exceptional generosity of Jonathan and Karin Fielding," UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said in a statement. "This investment from longtime champions of public health reflects our shared confidence in the UCLA School of Public Health as a resource not only for greater Los Angeles but the entire world."

Called an "extraordinary gift" by Linda Rosenstock, the school's dean, it is the largest single donation the Public Health school has received in its 50 years. 

As such, the school -- which has about 85 full-time faculty members and 700 students -- will get a new name: the UCLA Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health.