Mondavi gift benefits UC Davis wine and food sciences
California Agriculture 56(1):5-5.
Published January 01, 2002
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On Sept. 19, 2001, Robert and Margrit Mondavi announced a personal gift of $25 million to UC Davis to establish the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. The gift will be combined with campus funds and other private contributions to create new state-of-the-art research and teaching facilities, to house the UC Davis College of Agriculture and Natural Resources departments of viticulture, enology, and food science and technology.
A $25 million gift from Robert and Margrit Mondavi will allow UC Davis to build a new facility combining viticulture, enology, and food science and technology. Graduate student Fiona Hutchinson pours peanuts into a machine that coats them with an edible covering made from whey proteins, a byproduct of cheese processing. The coating prolongs freshness while utilizing a dairy byproduct that has long been a waste disposal headache for cheese processors.
The institute will include an academic building of approximately 75,000 square feet for classrooms, laboratories, offices and meeting rooms. A 13,000-square-foot plant for food-processing, and a 36,000-square-foot building for a new campus teaching and research winery, also will be constructed within the proposed institute. Current plans call for the institute to be located on Old Davis Road; groundbreaking is expected in 2004.
The gift is the largest private contribution ever to UC Davis and represents one of the most generous single gifts from an individual donor in UC history. The Mondavis also donated $10 million to name the UC Davis campus's Center for the Performing Arts, which is currently under construction.