PASADENA (CBSLA) — Caltech announced Thursday an “unprecedented” $750 million donation from the owners of The Wonderful Company to support environmental sustainability research.
The donation is the largest in Caltech’s history, and the second-largest gift to a U.S. academic institution, according to university officials. Caltech says it is also the largest gift ever for environmental sustainability research.
The gift was pledged by Stewart and Lynda Resnick, the owners of The Wonderful Company — which includes brands like Pom Wonderful pomegranate juice, Fiji Water, and Halos mandarin oranges — and will establish the Resnick Center. Caltech says the Resnick Center will include laboratories focused on ecology and biosphere engineering and translational science and engineering, as well as a solar science and catalysis center, a high-performance computing center, a water and environment lab and a remote sensing center.
This is not the Resnicks’ first gift to Caltech , nor its first to go toward studying the effects of climate change. The couple, along with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, donated $30 million to establish the Resnick Sustainability Institute a decade ago and an additional pledge to start the Resnick Institute Innovation Fund – all to support new ideas in clean energy and sustainability science.
The donation will “permit Caltech to tackle issues of water, energy, food and waste in a world confronting rapid climate change,” President Thomas F. Rosenbaum said in a statement.