January 3, 2005

UCSC moves closer to fundraising goals with $1.4 million gift

By Scott Rappaport

UCSC has received a $1.4 million gift—the largest single donation ever given by an alum--from Foundation trustee Kit Mura-smith.

Photo: Kit Mura-smith

Kit Mura-smith was a re-entry student at UCSC. Photo: Courtesy of Kit Mura-smith

Mura-smith has designated an irrevocable charitable trust to be equally split between enhancing the university’s library facilities ($700,000) and providing scholarships for re-entry students ($700,000).

Mura-smith credits her time studying at UCSC as an important milestone in her life because the campus accepted her as an “older” re-entry student in 1974, paving the way for her future success.

The gift brings UCSC closer to its Cornerstone Campaign goal of raising $50 million by June of 2005.

The campus has raised $45 million to date and hopes to bring in $5 million of the grand total specifically for student scholarships, fellowships, and research grants. Prior to this donation, more than $3 million had already been raised for student support, including $1.5 million generated from two highly successful Scholarships Benefit Dinners.

“This extraordinary gift will eventually have a huge impact on UCSC students,” said Acting Chancellor Martin M. Chemers, “as it will ensure state-of-the-art library facilities and provide significant support for re-entry students with scholarships and child care.”

“This is an exemplary act of leadership by a UCSC Foundation trustee who is also an alumna, underscoring the philanthropic maturity of UCSC’s founding cohort of students,” Chemers added.

Mura-smith graduated from UCSC in 1975 with a degree in applied social anthropology. Three years later, while attending law school and working for Hewlett-Packard, she and three partners purchased technology from her employer to found their own company in Sunnyvale called Trimble Navigation.

The firm became a leader in Global Positioning Systems (GPS) technology, with applications in fields as diverse as marine navigation, land survey, mobile communication, aerospace, geographic information systems, and personal navigation.

Now retired, Mura-smith held executive positions in marketing, product development and manufacturing operations at the company, in addition to heading the original marine business. She also became the co-owner of three patents, including a battery-powered GPS navigation wristwear device.

Mura-smith is married to artist and former rock musician John Ware, and they now reside in Denver.

Return to Front Page