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Name a University Property, Program, or Facility in Recognition of a Gift

Learn about the process, hierarchy, and responsibilities involved in naming a university property, program, or facility in honor of people or entities that have made important contributions to UCSD.

Final approval of naming proposals is determined by the type of property, program, or facility:
  • UCSD's chancellor approves names for streets, roads, portions of buildings, small outdoor areas, other minor assets, and single-campus programs or facilities
  • UC's president approves university land reserves, major centers of activities, other highly visible assets, and major or multi-campus programs or facilities

The following lists who takes action in the process and what the role is in each step:

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1. Deans or Directors

Works with divisional development officers to propose a name that recognizes a donor gift

2. Development Officer

  • Guarantees all relevant senior administrators have been notified and agree with the naming proposal
  • Contacts Donor Stewardship for assistance with the creation of the naming request, including a draft letter of request to the UCSD Chancellor or UC President  (see items 3 and 4 below). This letter requires the highest level administrator’s signature (vice chancellor, dean, etc.).

3. Development Officer: Letter requesting UCSD Chancellor approval

The Development Officer works with Donor Stewardship to draft a letter requesting UCSD Chancellor approval. This approval is required for streets, roads, portions of buildings, small outdoor areas, other minor assets, and single-campus programs or facilities. The letter should include:

  • The name of the facility where the namings are located
  • A brief description of the spaces to be named (patient rooms, performance rehearsal suites, etc.)
  • How the naming gift levels are appropriate
  • Assurance the request to name has been vetted and approved by appropriate campus and department administration and senior development officers
  • Assurance the request is within campus policy and guidelines
  • A grid or list of the spaces and the appropriate naming gift minimums with the proposed name of the space

The development officer submits the draft letter and grid/ list fo Donor Stewardship for review, obtains appropriate signatures on the final letter, and forwards it to Donor Stewardship along with relevant gift documents.

4. Development Officer: Letter requesting UC President approval

The Development Officer works with Donor Stewardship to draft a letter requesting UC presidential approval. This approval is required for land reserves, major centers of activities, other highly visible assets, and major or multi-campus programs or facilities.

The letter should include:

  • Proposed name of the facility, program, or space
    • Namings for an individual require an official full name (e.g. John J. Smith Hall), but can be commonly known by a shortened version (e.g., Smith Hall)
  • Description of the facility, program, or space
  • Description of the size and importance or the space or program
  • Proposed cost and funding sources
  • Rationale for why the amount is reasonable:
    • Are there comparable facilities or programs on campus?
    • What percentage of the gift is construction cost?
    • Is funding available from other sources?
    • Are there comparable facilities or programs at other institutions, if none exist at UCSD?
  • Summary of gift terms
  • Donor information
  • A list of administrators who have been notified and approve of the proposal
  • Honoree information (if relevant)
    • If honoree is someone other than the donor, include the  honoree's written approval of the name
The Development Officer then forwards the draft letter for Donor Stewardship to review, obtains appropriate signatures on the final letter, and forwards it to Donor Stewardship along with relevant gift documents.

5. Donor Stewardship

  • Prepares a draft depending on the needed approval level:
    • If chancellor-level approval is required, a draft letter is prepared.
    • If presidential-level approval is required, an Item for Action is drafted.
    • Note: The draft includes many of the items from the letter of request, but can be more detailed because it will serve as the historical record.
  • Seeks pre-review of the Item for Action by the UC Office of the President (UCOP) for presidential-approval namings
  • Drafts a concurring opinion with the vice chancellor for External and Business Affairs' signature
  • Submits all relevant documentation to the chief of staff at the Chancellor’s Office, who then submits items to the Campus Naming Committee for review

6. Naming Committee

  • Evaluates the naming proposal for consistency with the university's role as a public trust and ensures a broad campus perspective with regard to naming activities
  • Forwards naming recommendation to the chancellor

7. Chancellor

Reviews the recommendation of the naming committee and then:

  • For chancellor-level approval, issues a letter with a decision on naming proposal (in this case, steps 6 and 7 do not apply.)
  • For presidential-level approval, issues a recommendation letter and forwards it and the Item for Action to UCOP for presidential review.

8. Donor Stewardship

After the chancellor issues a recommendation letter for presidential-level approval, Donor Stewardship submits these items to UCOP:

  • Electronic naming file
  • Gift agreement and/ or list of donors
  • Supporting documents
  • Item for Action

9. Office of the President

Obtains presidential approval and notifies the Office of the Chancellor

  • The formal letter of approval will be routed to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for External and Business Affairs for distribution to all required parties.

10. Chancellor

Notifies Physical Plant Services and Campus Planning of approved names

11. Donor Stewardship

Keeps central historical files for all gift-related namings

12. University Communications and Public Relations and/ or Development

Works with involved parties to coordinate a public announcement. Public announcement can be made only after names are approved by the chancellor or UC president as authorized by approval level and UCOP policy.

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