Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs give $2 million to help scholar-athletes and graduate students. Photo courtesy USCD

University of California San Diego alumnus Gary Jacobs and wife, Jerri-Ann, believe education provides a path to upward social mobility. Throughout the years, they have supported formal education for students to acquire skills and choices for careers, as well as opportunities to find their passion and create self-confidence.

Most recently, the couple gave UC San Diego $2 million to fund scholarships for scholar-athletes, and graduate fellowships and programs in the Division of Social Sciences. These gifts contribute to the Campaign for UC San Diego.

Empowering the next generation of changemakers by enhancing student support and ensuring student success is a campus priority. Through scholarships and fellowships, UC San Diego can continue to attract and retain a talented student community that is inclusive of California’s diversity.

“I am deeply devoted to ensuring access to UC San Diego and promoting student well-being, now and long into the future,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “As we strive to meet the evolving needs of our students, we thank generous donors like Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs for the investment in UC San Diego, and our students.”

A 1979 UC San Diego graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Management Science, Gary Jacobs played intramural soccer and volleyball in his student days; he also helped to run a campus program that provided baseball umpires to local little leagues, adult leagues and some college games.

The Jacobs intend to provide $1 million in charitable support to UC San Diego Athletics. The gift will establish the Jerri-Ann and Gary Jacobs Family Baseball Scholarship Endowment, the sport’s largest scholarship endowment. They hope their undergraduate scholarship support will serve as encouragement and inspiration to deserving UC San Diego students for generations to come.

Champions of Triton baseball through their support and involvement, the couple is thrilled that Triton Athletics is transitioning to Division 1.

“As a Division III school when I was a student and now as a Division II school, athletics were not a unifying tradition for both students and alumni,” Gary Jacobs said. “We believe the move to Division I will provide excitement on campus and an opportunity for alumni to reconnect with UC San Diego. Plus, our ability to be on ESPN 3 consistently will enhance the visibility of the amazing students, staff, faculty and research done at UC San Diego.”

Jerri-Ann Jacobs shared what she and her husband believe is the greatest benefit of this fellowship for the Division.

“UC San Diego is always competing for the most competitive graduate students,” she said. “We often hear how we lost a potential future superstar to another university because they were able to offer a better financial package, even though the graduate student really wanted to study with a UC San Diego professor. Our fellowship provides the additional resources to attract these stellar students.”

In recognition of the Jacobs’ continuing support of Social Sciences, UC San Diego will seek to name the teaching preparation laboratory in the Social Sciences Public Engagement Building—part of the North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood—the Jerri-Ann and Gary Jacobs Family Teaching Preparation Laboratory. It will be part of UC San Diego’s Education Studies Department, which has credentialed more than 2,500 teachers since 1972, helping to educate innumerable K-12 students throughout Southern California and beyond.

Since 2000, Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs have focused almost exclusively on philanthropic work. In September 2000, the couple founded the Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs High Tech High Charter School, which prepares students for careers in the high tech and biotech industries. There are now four campuses serving over 6,000 K-12 students.

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