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Giving Priorities

General Support




Photo of Wurster Hall in the daytime

The need for leadership and innovation from urban planners and designers has never been more urgent. As we face uncertain times in society and politics and witness disturbing environmental upheaval, your generosity makes a powerful statement — that you care deeply about educating the next generation of environmental design leaders and believe in their power to reshape our world. Giving to the CED Fund is the most direct way for alumni, family, and friends to support the College. 

Your unrestricted gift to the CED Fund is essential to helping our College grow and pivot to address changing needs on an ongoing basis.

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Academic Excellence + Access

Students participating in Big Give

Students supporting the College's Diversity Fund and Big Give campaign.

Undergraduate and Graduate Student Support
CED students are a wonderfully diverse group. What they share is intelligence, inventiveness, and a commitment to making a difference through design practice. A design education requires exceptional resources and state support of higher education in California has been declining for decades. One of the most significant problems facing us today is the tremendous disparity of opportunity. Attracting and retaining a diverse and creative group of undergraduate and graduate students is a hallmark of CED and crucial to providing a world-class design education. It is only with support from donors like you that CED is able to offer pathways and possibilities to all our exceptional students.

Diversity Fund (Undergrad and Grad)

Giving to this fund supports high-achieving undergrads and grads who have shown leadership ability and an outstanding record of service in promoting equitable solutions for disadvantaged communities. The fund was proposed and supported by the CED Students of Color (CEDSOC). Join them, and us, in this effort to increase scholarships and fellowships for students demonstrating academic interest in topics such as race, gender, and social equity in the built environment.

Access for All Technology Assistance Fund (Undergrad)

Our goal is to administer 160 fee waivers of $1,000 per year through the creation of a $4 million endowed fund. CED students typically pay more in tech fees and shop materials than other UC Berkeley majors — costs not covered by financial aid. Your support of this fund will help undergrads in their junior or senior year subsidize the cost of using CED’s design facilities — including the wood and metal shop and the digital fabrication lab. Available to Pell Grant recipients regardless of major, this fund levels the playing field by lowering the cost of accessing technologies essential to all of CED’s undergraduate students.

Undergraduate Scholarships

Endowed scholarships are created with a gift or pledge of $100,000 and provide $4,000 per year to students of merit and/or with financial need. Gifts of less than that amount can be given to existing departmental funds to support deserving students. 

Named Graduate Fellowships

Your endowed gift to support a named fellowship will provide a reliable foundation for distinguished graduate students in the long term. When we grant a portion of the earnings each year to fellowships, we are able to recognize, attract and retain the best and brightest students who otherwise would not be able to afford a design education at UC Berkeley. Thanks to a generous gift in 2017 by Greg Perloff (M.C.P. ’76) and his wife Laura, we created an endowed doctoral fellowship in the Department of City & Regional Planning. Gifts and pledges of less than $250,000 can be made to existing graduate fellowship funds in the Departments of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and City & Regional Planning.

Intellectual Synergy

Ron Rael cabin

The Cabin of Curiosities is a research endeavor and “proof of concept” investigation by CED Professor Ron Rael and his partner Virginia San Fratello into the architectural possibilities of upcycling and custom 3-D-printed claddings as a response to housing needs that was unveiled in Oakland.

Today, it’s almost a matter of fact that the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, and planning are housed together under one academic umbrella. But in the mid-20th century, no university in the United States had yet combined the three. The idea for such an integration came largely from William Wurster, for whom the College of Environmental Design’s brutalist building is named after. Wurster, who valued the synthesis of knowledge and academic contributions in a way that would help shape the environment at large, saw environmental design as being inseparable from its social, political, economic, and cultural contexts. Since its founding in 1959, the College has seen countless environmental design pioneers who embraced the same thinking as William Wurster enter its doors.

Our extraordinary faculty hold a progressive vision for the future—one forged through the creative interaction of design, social and environmental justice, sustainability, and urban data and engineering. Your support allows us to focus on solving design and planning problems with innovative, cross-disciplinary solutions.

Faculty Research Fund

Giving to an existing faculty research fund in one of the three departments allows faculty to have the necessary resources to undertake innovative research, design projects, studio courses, and technological advancements in the built environment. The following is a sample list of funds where your gift can make a difference:

- The Yvonne C. Koshland Fund supports research focused on regional planning and governance in the Department of City & Regional Planning.

- The Lee Family Fund in Social Housing and Architecture supports teaching and related educational activities focused on housing or social architecture. 

Sponsored Studios

Your support of sponsored studios gives students and faculty the chance to collaborate out in the field on projects that make a difference in communities around the world.

One recent sponsored studio focused on the Ghost Ship Fire in Oakland, exploring how to promote artists and arts communities while maintaining safety. Another, in partnership with Hong Kong University, will bring faculty and students overseas to examine how metropolitan regions like San Francisco and Hong Kong can adapt to climate change by becoming more resilient, energy-efficient and livable for generations to come. 

Endowed Professors of Practice

Your gift to create a professor of practice endowment will bring distinguished practitioners (part-time adjuncts) to the College—not just once, but on an ongoing basis. These practitioners could include artists, designers, and expert fabricators who could also serve as practicing artists and designers-in-residence. Their knowledge and expertise will enhance our graduate education, expand faculty teaching resources, and strengthen our ties with the myriad professions our students will enter. 

Endowed Chairs ($3M Gift)

Endowed chairs and professorships are among the most important resources CED can draw on to maintain its distinguished faculty. Endowed faculty positions provide honor and recognition for the scholars and professionals who hold them and give the College a powerful tool to recruit and retain eminent researchers. The best teachers, researchers, and mentors inevitably attract the most capable students—an added benefit of your support for endowed chairs and professorships. 

- The Arcus Chair supports a wide range of critical and creative activities at the intersection of LGBTQ+ issues and the built environment. 

- The Esherick Chair supports visiting professors with a distinguished background in practice and significant contributions to the making of buildings that integrate the influences of building technology with their design outcomes.

Preserving Legacies + Facilitating Access



Design Archives William Wurster House image

Image: Saxton Temple Pope Jr. residence, Orinda, CA (1939), designed by William Wurster

There are a number of surprising artifacts hidden in the Environmental Design Archives. Eclectic treasures like a vintage silk handkerchief featuring a quaint rendering of a Japanese hotel or the briefcase and boots of noted landscape architect Thomas Church are just some of the unique items found within its walls.

But what’s most remarkable about the Archives is its story: When William Wurster established the original Architectural Archives in 1953 under the advisement of architectural historian Henry Russell Hitchcock, its first acquisition included the personal papers and project records of Bernard Maybeck. Today, it is one of the largest architecture and landscape archival repositories west of the Mississippi.

The Archives now holds over 200 collections spanning more than a century and contains primary source materials such as correspondence, reports, specifications, drawings, photographs, models, and artifacts. The collection houses the records of early architects of the First Bay Region Style including John Galen Howard, Julia Morgan, and Willis Polk as well as the landscape architecture holdings of plans and records by Beatrix Jones Farrand, Gertrude Jekyll, and Mary Rutherford Jay. The Environmental Design Archives has grown and thrived thanks to generous donors and those collecting, preserving, and sharing the records of leading designers whose works now live in one of the leading collections in the nation.

Much of that wouldn’t have been possible, however, without the efforts of Waverly Lowell who served as curator for the past 20 years.

Provide ongoing support to the Environmental Design Archives

Annual unrestricted support is critical to the survival and success of the Archives. The operating budget is secured through grants, fees, and donations. Gifts like yours will ensure we can continue to share this outstanding resource with the College, UC Berkeley, the design community, and scholars around the world. You can learn more about becoming a friend of the Archives at