Atherton couple commit $5 million to UC Davis institute

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on November 8, 2011

UC Davis alums and Atherton residents Renee and Mike Child have committed $5 million to help fund a new University of California, Davis, interdisciplinary institute devoted to education, research and outreach in innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Child Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will help UC Davis assume a global leadership role in entrepreneurship and innovation, building on our already strong foundation in these areas,” said Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi. “We are grateful to the Childs for making this possible.”

The Institute builds on the success and experience of the UC Davis Center for Entrepreneurship, which since 2006 has helped researchers and students move their innovations and ideas into the marketplace.
Alumni of the center have launched more than 45 companies in areas ranging from medical diagnostics to solar power to biodegrable plastics. The center’s programs have helped more than 650 graduate students, postdocs and faculty researchers explore the commercial applications of their ideas and connect them with business investors and industry careers.

The Childs’ $5 million commitment will be invested in an endowment, ensuring ongoing financial support for the Institute and its important work into the future.

Mike Child graduated from UC Davis in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Renee Child  graduated from UC Davis in 1976, with degrees in psychology and German. One of their daughters is a UC Davis student, and the other is a recent UC Davis graduate.

In addition to serving as a trustee on the UC Davis Foundation board, Mike Child is also a member of the Campaign Cabinet, a group of volunteer leaders that is guiding the university during its first comprehensive fundraising campaign. Renee Child is a member of the College of Letters and Science’s Deans’ Advisory Council, a volunteer group that advocates for and advises the college.

“We are very pleased to be able to support UC Davis’ remarkable work across diverse disciplines,” Mike Child said.

“UC Davis provided us with an excellent education, and we’re happy to be able to give back to this outstanding university,” Renee Child said.

Their contributions will be counted as part of The Campaign for UC Davis, a universitywide initiative to inspire 100,000 donors to contribute $1 billion in support of the university’s mission and vision.

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