The Campaign for UCSB raked in cash over the 2006-07 fiscal year, adding an extra $70 million to its coffers.

Various foundations, individuals, alumni and corporations have donated to the Campaign, the campus’ first extensive private fundraising effort. According to a press release, the numerous contributions bring the Campaign’s fundraising total to $430 million, drawing near its goal of $500 million. Victoria Wing, director of Major Gift Planning, said the funds benefit plans and initiatives throughout the academic spectrum.

“Philanthropic support ranges from the bread and butter of certain projects, to the icing on the cake of others,” Wing said.

Virgil Elings, a former UCSB physics professor, and Betty Elings Wells made the largest gift this year, giving $12.5 million to the California NanoSystems Institute to support research, teaching and facilities, Wing said.

As a result of this donation, the CSNI building was renamed Elings Hall.

Meanwhile, this year also saw an increase in contributions from corporations and foundations to $35.5 million. A major factor in upping that total was due to the $10.1 million donated by seven corporate donors to the Solid State Lighting and Energy Center, Wing said.

Additionally, the men’s soccer team’s success last year spurred an increase in donations to fund athletic programs, including an anonymous one million dollar gift.

Director of Foundation Relations Janice Taylor said philanthropic organizations provided the university with donations to develop programs and plans in line with the group’s goals.

For example, the Henry Luce Foundation donated $450,000 to set up the Luce Science to Solution Initiative, which will provide students interested in studying environmental issues the opportunity to work in the field.

“[The Initiative] includes fellowships for scientists that want to find real solutions to environmental problems,” Taylor said.

According to Wing, the 2006-07 fiscal year’s total fundraising was an increase over the $55.4 million raised the previous year.

“We have every reason to believe we will make [our goal] in the next fiscal year,” Wing said.

The Campaign was created in 2000 to raise comprehensive private funds for UCSB’s future. While the original goal was to raise $350 million, the Web site said the goal was upped to $500 million in May 2005.