Caltech announced today that it had received a pledge of $50 million from a foundation established by Orange County industrialist Arnold O. Beckman and his wife, Mabel, to establish a scientific research center devoted to problems in the forefront of modern biology and chemistry.
The Beckman Institute, as it is to be known, will eventually be housed in a new building on the Pasadena campus.
Arnold Beckman, 85, received his Ph.D. from Caltech in 1928, and went on to found Beckman Instruments, a manufacturer of medical equipment that is now part of SmithKline Beckman Corp. His personal fortune has been estimated in excess of half a billion dollars.
The size of the gift is not a record. Last month, for example, Stanford University alumni David and Lucile Packard pledged $70 million to their alma mater, and similar or larger single donations have been made in recent years to several eastern universities.