Professor donates 10 million dollars to California university
Oct 18, 2011, 20:27 GMT
Los Angeles - A science professor who made a fortune by cultivating vineyards in his spare time has donated 10 million dollars to the university he has taught at since 1989, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.
Molecular biologist Francisco J Ayala will give 1 million dollars a year for 10 years to the University of California Irvine from the fortune he amassed by buying land, developing vineyards and selling 14,000 tons of grapes annually to some of the most prestigious wineries in California.
'This university has been very good to me,' Ayala, 77, said in an interview. 'I have been given the opportunity to do research and my major scientific accomplishments have been done at this university. I have enjoyed my students and colleagues - this is a way of expressing my gratitude.'
The donation was a boost for California's public university system, which has been forced to undergo hundreds of millions of dollars of cuts in staff and programmes due to the state budget crunch caused by the recession and its aftermath.