California Institute of Technology

California Institute of Technology

Caltech has received $100 million in donations over the last eight years from real estate mogul and philanthropist Donald Bren.

The funds further swelled the pool of funds donated to the Pasadena school in recent years. 

Bren's donation is part of a 10-year promise to fund Caltech’s Space Solar Power Project, according to the Orange County Register. The project, which researches how to generate energy in space and beam it back to Earth, is expected to reach a milestone in the coming months as it prepares for its first space test.

Several donors have recently helped fund the university’s research in sustainability and renewable energy.


The Space Solar Power Project also received funding from Northrop Grumman, which provided Caltech with $17.5 million over three years.


In September 2019, Stewart and Lynda Resnick, the owners of Wonderful Co., which sells pistachios, POM Wonderful juice and other snacks, donated a whopping $750 million to the school.


The donation from Resnicks was the largest in Caltech’s history and the second-largest contribution ever to a U.S. academic institution.

 
The gift supported climate science studies and construction of the 75,000-square-foot Resnick Sustainability Resource Center. The new building is expected to cost $100 million and is scheduled to break ground in 2022.


The donation was on top of a previous contribution of $30 million by the Resnicks and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which helped start the Resnick Sustainability Institute.


In 2019, the university was also awarded $2.2 million from the U.S. Geological Survey to develop an early warning system for earthquakes.


The school’s endowment in 2020 was $2.84 billion.

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