In an effort to encourage donors to establish more endowed funds for graduate fellowships in eligible programs, UC Davis recently launched the Graduate Student Fellowship Matching Initiative. With this initiative, Graduate Studies has committed to matching gifts to more than 90 qualifying graduate programs, greatly increasing the impact of philanthropic funds on students’ lives.
A new way to support graduate students
To assist more students in pursuing graduate degrees, the UC Davis Office of Graduate Studies is committed to growing the current number of about 25 graduate fellows. In addition, the Graduate Student Fellowship Matching Initiative will reduce the amount of time it takes for fellowships to be awarded. Awards will be given out earlier than is typical and will be permanent, thereby increasing access to education for generations to come.
Here’s how it works: Graduate Studies funds the payments initially while waiting for the endowed fund to grow. This provides a significant benefit to students immediately and accelerates the impact of donors’ gifts through a matching commitment.
With this new matching model, a $50,000 endowment gift is estimated to double in 12 years instead of the traditional 30 years. The annual payout to the student can be up to $16,000.
“We are delighted to serve graduate students in a new way through the Graduate Student Fellowship Matching Initiative,” said Prasant Mohapatra, vice provost of graduate education and dean of graduate studies. “If we want to continue to be a leading university, it’s important that we attract the best and brightest. And it’s essential that we offer our students resources so that they may pursue their educational goals without taking on a significant financial burden. Too often finances are the main barrier to talented students pursuing a graduate degree.”
Inspired to give
The new matching initiative has already inspired many donors to give — such as Davis resident Judy Wydick.
Wydick grew up in Missouri with college-educated, supportive parents who encouraged her in educational pursuits. Her sons both attended college and work in education, her eldest having attended UC Davis for his undergraduate and graduate degrees. Wydick felt compelled to give to GPP through the Graduate Matching Fund because she recognized the immense obstacle of not having any kind of family support in pursuing an education.
“Student and pupils who really have no family to fall back on — they’re pretty much on their own,” she said. “I just feel strongly they should have what opportunities they can. The Guardian Professions Program is a marvelous program, and to make the kind of commitment the university has with the matching initiative — well, it’s extremely important, and it needs others to come along and offer their support.”
Matching fund options
The matching initiative will support more than 90 different graduate programs at UC Davis.
For students, graduate funding means an open doorway to a promising future — and a clear path to making a positive impact on the world.