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Samueli Family’s Latest Gift: $100M to UCLA

Henry and Susan Samueli last week continued their commitment to funding the region’s next generation of engineers and innovators.

The Corona del Mar couple—owners of the Anaheim Ducks, and among Orange County’s top philanthropists—announced a major donation to the University of California-Los Angeles Samueli School of Engineering, described as the largest gift ever received at their namesake school.

The engineering school was named in Henry Samueli’s honor following a $30 million gift in 2000.

Initial reports last week put the latest gift at $100 million, and the Samueli’s total giving to UCLA in the $188 million range.

Sources familiar with the family’s philanthropic efforts tell the Business Journal that the $188 million figure is likely on the low side.

The latest donation will allow the engineering school to boost its enrollment by about one-third to at least 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students while adding nearly 100 tenured and tenure-track faculty, to a total of 250, by 2028, the school said last week.

“The demand for engineering graduates has continued to grow unabated, so it is exciting to see UCLA’s significant commitment to increase the number of students and faculty, and expand research and entrepreneurship within the school,” Henry Samueli said in a statement.

Samueli is a multibillionaire who co-founded chipmaker Broadcom Inc., now based in San Jose and with significant operations in Irvine.

Broadcom was sold in 2016 to fellow chipmaker Avago Technologies Ltd. for $37 billion, but kept the acquired company’s name while moving headquarters out of town.

Samueli initially took on the chief technology officer role at Broadcom following the Avago deal, but around the start of this year quietly stepped back from day-to-day operations.

He’s now chairman of the $107 billion-valued company (NYSE: AVGO) and is said to be one of Broadcom Chief Executive Hock Tan’s key confidants in terms of business strategy at the company.

Broadcom’s stock has roughly doubled since the two companies announced their deal four years ago.

Irvine Too

The UCLA donation marks the latest gift in a string of philanthropic efforts by the Orange County couple, especially toward the University of California system, with reported donations totaling close to $500 million.

The Samuelis also have donated a reported $250 million to the University of California-Irvine, including a $200 million gift in 2017—the seventh largest ever made to a single public university—for its College of Health Sciences.

Henry Samueli has said “the entire country is recognizing the fact that healthcare needs to change—the way we deliver healthcare needs to change,” during a rare public appearance last year at OCTANe’s Medical Technology Innovation Forum in Newport Beach last year.

UCI’s engineering school, like at UCLA, is already named after Henry Samueli.

There’s also the Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute at UCI, which was established in 2001. Susan has been passionate about integrative, or complementary, healthcare for more than 30 years.

Samueli earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees from UCLA and served as a full-time professor of electrical engineering from 1985 to 1995. During that time, he co-founded Broadcom with Henry Nicholas in 1991.

The company went public in 1998, quickly turning the chipmaker’s two founders into billionaires.

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