UC Berkeley alumnus Terry Rosen, along with his wife, Tori Rosen, gifted the College of Chemistry $25 million for the construction of a building in the name of his Ph.D. adviser, Clayton Heathcock.
The donation from the Rosens was formally signed in September and the project was approved later in the fall. The building will be located at the east entrance of campus and construction will likely begin in 2021. According to the director of development at the College of Chemistry, Mindy Rex, the college has been working on building new laboratories since 1994, but the projects have not come to fruition because of a lack of adequate funding.
“It’s been a really long process that really couldn’t be started until we had a major gift come in,” Rex said. “Our newest building was built in 1997 … what this is going to provide is modern lab space, which is desperately needed in the College of Chemistry.”
According to Rex, UC Berkeley lacks the modern laboratory environments that private universities and other academic peers have. She added that having the space would allow the campus to recruit new faculty and graduate students.
“We need to have facilities that reflect the distinction and excellence of the college,” Rex said.
The Rosens have been working closely with the College of Chemistry over the years, according to a Berkeley News article. They initially donated $1 million to the project several years ago. Terry Rosen, a member of the UC Berkeley Foundation board of trustees, also donates to the college’s annual funds.
With Heathcock, former dean of the College of Chemistry, as his mentor, Rosen studied synthetic processes for creating cholesterol-lowering drugs. He now works as the CEO for Arcus Biosciences, a company focusing on cancer research.
“He was my graduate student in the 1980s,” Heathcock said in an email. “He was an outstanding, hard-working student.”
Rosen considers the gift a way to thank Heathcock. This is the first time a building on UC Berkeley’s campus gifted by an alumnus has been named after their research director.