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

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.

Where did the giant sum of money come from? The L.A. Times explains:

The money comes from Fielding's stock in a Texas-based private investment firm, Dimensional Fund Advisors, which manages assets worldwide. The school will receive the income from the stock and all profit from it if it is sold.

The massive funding puts "an exclamation mark on his dedication to the future of public health," said California Department of Public Health director Dr. Ron Chapman. 

In addition to scholarships, research enhancements, faculty recruiting, and infrastructure upgrades, the gift will also "endow a chair in population health to look at the roles that housing, education and transportation play in people's health," notes the Times.

Fielding, 69, has been a UCLA faculty member for more than 30 years.