Faculty Gifts Ensure a Lasting Legacy

Ilse WarschawskiIlse Warschawski left more than $1 million, through her estate, to UC San Diego, in honor of her late husband and founder of the university's department of mathematics, Stefan (Steve) Warschawski. Ilse's visionary gift to benefit the department of mathematics and the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center will help bring innovative, award-winning faculty members to UC San Diego, enhancing the university's groundbreaking research and cutting-edge advancements, which have an impact locally, nationally and globally.

Five decades ago, Steve Warschawski arrived at the newly established UC San Diego campus with Ilse and set out to build the university's math department from the ground up. The couple is still remembered on campus for creating a warm, inviting environment that attracted 24 faculty members to UC San Diego's new math department in just three years. Those early years were filled with elaborate dinner parties prepared by Ilse to help interest new faculty members in the fledgling campus, which has grown to become one of the most renowned and respected public universities in the world.

Mathematics of Giving

To recruit outstanding faculty to the department which her husband founded, Ilse's gift will establish an endowed faculty chair in UC San Diego's department of mathematics. Endowed faculty chairs provide a powerful incentive to bring distinguished scientists and researchers to the university. At UC San Diego, although state funds provide basic faculty salaries, permanent endowed funds support chair holders' teaching and research efforts, which may include travel, assistance for graduate students and other costs.

"Steve Warschawski was the first and only faculty member in the department when he came to campus in 1963," said Sam Buss, immediate past chair of the mathematics department. "The close-knit foundation that Steve and Ilse fostered is still evident today. With her gift, Ilse has left a lasting impression on the department, as faculty recruitment is absolutely essential to its continued advancement."

Support to Find a Cure

In addition to benefiting the math department, Ilse's gift will also support the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, in honor of her husband of 43 years, who succumbed to cancer in 1989. The funding will help recruit leading physicians and researchers devoted to basic and clinical cancer research, providing advanced patient care and serving the community through outreach and education programs.

"This gift is important to attracting the most talented doctors and scientists who will help the Moores Cancer Center continue to rank among the nation's top cancer centers," said Scott Lippman, MD, director of the Moores Cancer Center, which is one of 40 centers in the U.S. designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute and the only place in San Diego and Imperial counties to have earned this honor. "We are very grateful for Ilse Warschawski's generosity in supporting the quest for a cure for cancer."