San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is to donate $14m to the Claremont Graduate University (CGU) to fund a new state-of-the-art health research centre.
The Indian Tribe, headquartered in Highland, California, will purchase the Huntley Bookstore building at the centre of the Claremont Colleges, which will be one of the largest gifts in the near 100-year history of the university.
The building will serve as the home of the Yuhaaviatam Center for Health Studies, a multi-disciplinary health research facility launched over a year ago. The purpose of the center is to support California’s vulnerable populations who lack sufficient health coverage or awareness of the benefits of preventative care.
The donation was discussed in 2019 but was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, and comes at a time when the need to respond to public health challenges couldn’t be greater.
CGU president Len Jessup said: “Real, substantial breakthroughs happen when people from many disciplines come together and collaborate. That’s the hallmark of our transdisciplinary philosophy.
“The purchase of the Huntley makes it possible to create such a space for that kind of engagement on our campus.”
San Manuel tribal chair Ken Ramirez added: “In our role as stewards of our ancestral lands, we support our neighboring communities, in addition to our Tribe. For generations, low-income communities and underserved populations have needed quality healthcare. Our gift is an investment in future healthier communities and one we are happy to make.”