December 21, 2023 – San Diego, CA – San Diego Foundation (SDF) announced today that it will award the University of California San Diego Black Alumni Scholarship Fund $500,000 for student scholarships and support of Black students attending the university.

“We deeply appreciate this strong expression of confidence in our continued growth as a program that is providing more opportunities for outstanding, civic-minded Black students to attend and thrive at our great university,” said Edward Spriggs, Chair of the UC San Diego Black Alumni Scholarship Fund (BASF) at San Diego Foundation. “This gift from the San Diego Foundation means the world to our current and future students and the BASF advisory board.”

Established as a “challenge grant,” SDF will award the funding when an equivalent amount of donations are raised, essentially doubling the impact of gifts to the Black Alumni Scholarship Fund. The fund advisors for the UC San Diego BASF, which is housed within the San Diego Foundation, hope to raise $500,000 in 2024 as the first phase of their campaign to raise $10 million by 2028 to support 200 additional UC San Diego students each year, which would double the size of the current BASF program at UC San Diego.

“As the largest scholarships provider in the region outside of the university systems, San Diego Foundation partners with individuals, families, corporations and nonprofit organizations to transform the lives of deserving students through the gift of higher education,” said Pamela Gray Payton, SDF Chief Impact & Partnerships Officer and UC San Diego alumna. “Since the start of their fund, BASF has shown a true commitment to ensuring the success of Black students at UC San Diego.”

The UC San Diego BASF was founded in 1983 to provide scholarships to attract more Black students to UC San Diego and enable them to excel academically. Since 2002, the fund has awarded more than $802,000 in scholarships to over 350 students, with scholarships evenly split between students studying arts, humanities, and social sciences, and those studying engineering, mathematics, and biological and physical sciences. In recent years, the growth of the BASF has accelerated. This past fall, BASF awarded a record number of 60 scholarships to incoming freshman and transfer students, bringing the total number of BASF scholars on campus to nearly 200.

BASF scholars are competitively selected based largely on their academic and community service records. The expectation is that BASF Scholars will excel academically and, following graduation, become leaders in their fields while contributing to a more just and equitable society.

UC San Diego is committed to improving the university experience for its Black students, staff and faculty. In 2016, UC San Diego launched its Black Academic Excellence Initiative to help strengthen support for the Black campus community and improve the presence and experience of Black faculty, students and staff. Through the UC San Diego Black Academic Excellence Initiative, BASF connects recipients to existing programs that support the success of all students at UC San Diego, such as transition programs, networking with faculty and alumni mentoring, academic planning support and workshops on experiential learning that advances personal and career development.

For more information about UC San Diego Black Alumni Scholarship Fund at San Diego Foundation and how to donate, please visit

About the SDF Community Scholarship Program

The SDF Community Scholarship Program is made possible through the generous donor support of 146 unique charitable funds at San Diego Foundation and is the largest in the region outside of the university system. Since 1997, the program has awarded more than $50 million to more than 13,000 college students from San Diego.

If you are interested in opening a scholarship fund to support students fueling our San Diego economy, please contact Danielle Valenciano, Director of the SDF Community Scholarship Program, at

About San Diego Foundation

San Diego Foundation inspires enduring philanthropy and enables community solutions to improve the quality of life in our region. Our strategic priorities include advancing racial and social justice, fostering equity of opportunity, building resilient communities, and delivering world-class philanthropy to realize our vision of just, equitable and resilient communities. For more than 48 years, SDF and its donors have granted $1.7 billion to support nonprofit organizations strengthening our community. Learn more at


Lorena Nava Ruggero, San Diego Foundation,, 619-814-136