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UCR Receives Largest Gift in Its History

UCR Receives Largest Gift in Its History

Planned gift from long-time Riverside residents will be used to create 22 professorships

(June 16, 2006)

RIVERSIDE - Two long-time Riverside couples have made the largest gift ever to the University of California, Riverside, Chancellor France A. Córdova announced Friday. Combined, the gifts from the two charitable trusts are the largest gift given to a University of California campus in the past five years.

The $15.5 million planned gift from the charitable trusts of Bart and Barbara Singletary and William and Toby Austin will be used to create 22 professorships in social sciences, medical education and research, and agriculture. This will nearly double the number of endowed professorships at UCR.

"This generous donation will be transformative for UCR," Córdova said. "It will enable us to compete successfully for the best faculty and help propel us to the top tier of research universities."

The Singletarys’ gift is projected to create one chair in agriculture sciences and 11 chairs in the social sciences, including UCR’s proposed School of Law and School of Public Policy. Chairs will be named for Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge, a UCR political science associate professor on long-term leave; UCR Political Science Professor Emeritus Francis Carney; Vice Chancellor for Advancement Emeritus Jim Erickson; the late Bob Holstein, a politically active Riverside lawyer; the late Norman Cherniss, former long-time executive editor of The Press-Enterprise; Les Richter, a long-time motor sports executive, and Singletary.

The Austins’ gift is expected to create ten Austin Chairs in UCR’s proposed School of Medicine and its Health Sciences Research Institute.

William Austin and Bart Singletary were partners for 35 years in William Austin Co., a property management firm. The company is now owned by Bart Singletary’s son, Chris, and William Austin.

The elder Singletary and Austin, friends since they were neighbors as children in the Downtown Riverside neighborhood, are both former presidents of the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce.

Austin is a third generation Riversider, whose grandfather, William Moore, was a county supervisor from 1929 to 1939. He is a former chair of the Riverside Board of Realtors and regional vice president for this area of the California Real Estate Association. As a young woman, Toby Austin worked at UCR as an agriculture librarian; her niece graduated from UCR.

Singletary, a second generation Riversider, is a former chair of the UCR Foundation Board of Trustees and of the Citizens University Committee. He received the foundation’s Distinguished Service Award in 2004. He received a bachelor’s degree in political science from UCR in 1986.

The partners’ gift consists of the net proceeds from their interest in Riverside apartment complexes being sold to create the charitable trusts for the benefit of UCR.


The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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