The University of California, Los Angeles has announced a $3 million gift from alumni Robert and Dorothy Webb in support of efforts by the Samueli School of Engineering to increase enrollment by a thousand students and add fifty new faculty members.
The largest portion of the gift, some $2.5 million, will support the school's expansion plans, while he remaining $500,000 will be used to establish the Dr. Robert M. Webb and Mrs. Dorothy Webb Endowed Fellowship, which will be open to graduate students in any engineering field. In recognition of the gift, the lobby in the building known as Engineering VI, the School of Engineering's newest building, will be named after the Webbs.
Robert Webb, who earned bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees from UCLA's engineering school in the 1950s and '60s, and Dorothy Webb, who earned a bachelor's degree in Spanish at the university, met in a coffee room in Engineering Unit 2, now known as Boelter Hall. Robert Webb subsequently worked as a nuclear engineer at TRW, where his assignments included the Mars NERVA program and the Pioneer 10 spacecraft. Dorothy Webb earned a master's in library science from the University of Southern California and worked as a technical librarian at Hughes Aircraft and as a foreign language librarian for Los Angeles County. The couple's giving to UCLA spans forty-five years and includes support for a range of UCLA athletic teams.
"Dorothy and I do not consider our contributions as giving to UCLA," said Robert Webb. "We see it as paying back an enormous debt to UCLA."
(Photo credit: University of California, Los Angeles)