Long-time patron bequeaths $7.6 million to UC-Davis

Long-time patron bequeaths $7.6 million to UC-Davis

Oct 01, 2011

DAVIS, CALIF. — A landmark donation—one of the largest ever received by the veterinary college—pulls the University of California-Davis closer to its billion-dollar fundraising goal.

The $7.6 million gift went to the UC-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine by Maxine Adler, a long-time friend and patron of the veterinary college. The relationship between Adler and the veterinary school began about 20 years ago, the university reports, when she contacted the veterinary college for help with a feline behavior problem.

Several years later, Adler returned with a stray cat suffering from cancer. While the cat, named Du Bee, ultimately succumbed to the cancer, Adler was so appreciative of the care the cat received, she made a $100,000 donation to the school for cancer research.

Over the years, Adler continued to give to the veterinary school's Center for Companion Animal Health.

"She just continued to be a good friend and maintained friendships with the school," says Tom Venturino, director of development for the UC-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

Adler was killed this summer in a hit-and-run incident outside her home in Florida. She was 70.

When her estate settles, Venturino says her gift to the veterinary school will be close to $8 million. The donation brings Adler's lifetime contributions to the veterinary school to about $9 million, he says.

Per Adler's estate, the gift must be used to establish two chairs—one in veterinary oncology and another in veterinary genetics; create an endowment for the veterinary school's shelter medicine program; create an endowment to provide support for veterinary graduate students; and to fund the Du Bee Cancer Research Fund.

The donation will count toward the university-wide fundraising campaign at UC-Davis, which raised more than $117 million over the last year, Venturino says.