ESE 50th Anniversary Reunion Campaign

Large 50 graphic with a black and white images of scientists working inside.
Participation Drive
21 Gifts
Towards goal of 50 Gifts
$18,225.00 Raised
days left
Project ends on April 30, at 11:59 PM PDT
Project Owners

50 gifts for the ESE's 50th anniversary

The ESE has turned 50! Celebrate 50 years of environmental leadership as we honor the founding of the ESE program by Nobel laureate Willard Libby. Since 1973, ESE graduates have tackled the world's greatest environmental challenges, shaping a sustainable future across the globe.

ESE student Saagar Patel demonstrates how to simulate wildfires in the lab to model air pollution toxicity with fellow student Kelli Fletcher.ESE student Saagar Patel demonstrates how to simulate wildfires in the lab to model air pollution toxicity with fellow student Kelli Fletcher. | Photo by Claire Griffiths

Our students undertake an intensive two-year program at the Institute of the Environment & Sustainability to earn their professional doctoral degree in Environmental Science & Engineering, learning from best-in-class interdisciplinary subject leaders. Practice-based education applies classroom learnings in real-world settings, challenging and testing our students’ solutions. 

Most existing doctoral programs leading to the Ph.D. degree require that the candidate do original research and write a dissertation. The nature of the Environmental Science and Engineering program precludes this. The program is based on the belief that many current environmental problems can be solved, and future ones avoided, by using the knowledge and technological tools which we already possess. 

3 things that make the ESE program unique: the broad coursework, the solutions course, and the internship/fellowship.

UCLA's ESE program is the only environmental professional doctorate in the nation. Students are given practical training while conducting off-campus doctoral residencies with government, public and nonprofit agencies, private consulting agencies, and NGOs. 

Quote from alumnus Bart Sokolow: "It wasn’t just an academic program, it was a lifestyle. I enjoy solving problems and understanding the world around us, and the program prepared us to do that in a way that feels like giving back to the community."

Quote from alumnus Todd Sostek: "[The ESE] prepares students to rapidly enter the workforce and to be successful […] in a wide variety of positions."

Our work at ESE is transformational and has a broad impact on the future of our planet— as well as our program participants. The program challenges students to learn and grow in various subjects, providing valuable skills and hands-on training for their careers. 

Our history is rich and we are proud of the accomplishments of our alumni. Engagement and philanthropy within our community - including our alumni cohort - ensures the program continues. 

This year, we have set a goal of 50 gifts and need your help to get there! Gifts of any size that are given by June 30 will count toward our reunion campaign grand goal. Donations to the program’s endowed fund will secure the next 50 years of the program. Gifts provide crucial support to our second-year doctoral students during their residency. Join the community cheering on Environmental Science and Engineering at the top public university in the world by being counted as one of our 50 for the 50th benefactors.

We thank you for your consideration and hope to see you at the reunion! 

Committee members will continue reaching out in the coming weeks to reconnect, share reunion details, and discuss how you can make an impact.

The 50th Anniversary & Reunion Alumni Committee
Amanda Wagner (D. Env), Bart Sokolow (D. Env), Bob Ghirelli (D. Env), Bob Kawaratani (D. Env), Dennis Robinson (D. Env), Todd Sostek (D. Env) 

►If you'd like to sign up for a new multi-year pledge, please contact Madeleine Martin, Associate Director of Development, UCLA Physical Sciences, at

►Instructions for giving via Donor Advised Fund, wire transfer, stocks/securities, etc. can be found here. All gifts to the ESE are directed through the UCLA Foundation (Tax ID# 95-2250801). For general giving questions, please contact Madeleine Martin at For planned giving questions, please contact Livia Souza at

► Visit the ESE 50th Anniversary & Reunion website for the latest event updates and registration information. 


Should this fund reach the campus minimum required for the establishment of an endowment or quasi-endowment, The UCLA Foundation reserves the right to convert this fund to an endowment or quasi-endowment. Please click here to learn more about how the UCLA Foundation invests and manages its endowments. 

Gifts are managed and invested in accordance with UCLA’s endowment investment policies. The total return earned in excess of the amount approved annually for payout will be retained in the endowment principal to protect from the effects of inflation and to allow for growth. At the discretion of the appropriate campus office, when the payout is not needed for purposes of the fund, the return of payout may be added to the endowment fund principal. In the event the fund does not reach endowment minimum; or the program ceases to exist at UCLA, proceeds from the fund will be utilized in an area and manner as closely related as possible to the original intent and purposes for which the fund was established.

Although the Endowment is intended to exist in perpetuity, unforeseen circumstances may alter or remove the subject area from the campus academic plan or it may become impossible, impracticable or wasteful to administer. In such an event, the Chancellor is authorized to redesignate the purpose of the Endowment, after taking into consideration the designated endowment purpose.

Choose a giving level



Celebrate 50 years of the ESE with a $50 donation ($50 tax-deductible)



Secure the next 50 years of the program with a $100 donation ($100 tax-deductible)



Honor the number of ESE graduates (250 and counting) with a $250 donation ($250 tax-deductible)



This is a big moment for the ESE, so add another 0 to 50 with a donation of $500 ($500 tax-deductible)



Commemorate the anniversary of the program (c. 1973) with a $1,973 donation ($1,973 tax-deductible)

Our Crowdfunding Groups