Week in Review : MAJOR EVENTS, IMAGES AND PEOPLE IN ORANGE COUNTY NEWS : CITIES : Beckmans Pledge $50 Million for Science Research Center at Caltech
It was UC Irvine’s loss but Caltech’s gain.
Caltech, Pasadena, announced Friday that Orange County industrialist Arnold O. Beckman and his wife, Mabel, had pledged $50 million to establish a research center to study problems in the forefront of biology and chemistry, a center--and grant--that UCI had sought.
It will be known as the Beckman Institute, and, “There will be no place quite like it in the country,” said Caltech President Marvin L. Goldberger.
The new center will take some of the scientific advances of the past five years and provide scientists with the resources to experiment in ways not possible under existing research programs.
For Arnold Beckman, 85, Caltech has been an important place. He received his doctorate there in 1928 and was a member of its faculty until 1940 when he left to work full time for his company, Beckman Instruments Inc. of Fullerton, a manufacturer of medical instruments (now part of SmithKline Beckman Corp.). He was on the university’s board of trustees for nine years and three buildings on campus now bear his name.
He has indicated his eagerness to dispose of a substantial part of his personal fortune, estimated at more than half a billion dollars, before “it gets handed over to our estate and the government gets it.”
Last year, before announcing a $20-million grant to establish the National Academy of Science in Irvine, Beckman said, “It’s harder to give money away than it is to make it.”