Made as part of the $4.5 billion Centennial Campaign for UCLA, the gift will establish the Carol and James Collins Endowed Fund in Geriatric Medicine and provide resources over time to enhance programs at the school and enable future investments in innovative research and education. Programs in line for support include the UCLA Alzheimer's and Dementia Care Program, which helps patients and their families address the challenges of home safety, caregiver support, and other needs; the Medical Home Visit Program; and Generation Xchange, an intergenerational mentoring program that puts older volunteers in K-3 classrooms in South Los Angeles. The fund also will provide funds needed to strengthen the university's numerous fellowships, residencies, and training programs for medical students and physicians.
Longtime supporters of the university, James and Carol Collins met as UCLA undergraduates and have been active volunteers and donors to the university since they made their first gift in 1963. Carol Collins has served as a board member for Women & Philanthropy at UCLA and for what is now known as the UCLA Lab School, which she attended as a child. James Collins entered the restaurant business after earning his bachelor's degree in civil engineering from UCLA in 1950. He retired as CEO of Sizzler International, Inc. in 1999 and now serves as its chair emeritus. Collins also has held a number of leadership roles at UCLA and currently serves as chair emeritus of the executive committee for the Centennial Campaign for UCLA.
The Collinses' latest gift extends their previous support for geriatric initiatives at the university, which includes a gift of $1.25 million in 2012 in support of the Alzheimer's and Dementia Care Program and a gift of $1 million in 2015 in support of the Alzheimer's Risk Reduction Initiative. They also created the Carol and James Collins Endowed Chair in Geriatric Medicine, which is currently held by Brandon Koretz, co-chair of the division of geriatrics, who will be responsible for the administration of the new fund.