Eminent Scholars Program

Eminent Scholars Program

The University of Arizona needs exceptional faculty to accomplish our bold goals for research and education. The Eminent Scholars Program, managed by the Office of the Provost and the University of Arizona Foundation, accelerated growth of endowed chairs by amplifying private gifts with additional state and university funds.

Like all endowed gifts, these chairs and faculty research funds will benefit the donors’ chosen causes in perpetuity. The difference is more immediate support and growth of each endowed fund. For the first five years, the endowment’s actual payout is reinvested while the Eminent Scholars Program’s goal is to recruit and retain eminent faculty by providing funds directly to the college or center to support faculty and funding for research and scholarly activities of the named chair.

This amplification matters. For example, the qualifying gift of $5 million to the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine was augmented by the Eminent Scholars Program with an additional $1.75 million.

Program Highlights

Victor Smith Endowed Chair in Food Safety Education

Victor Smith’s gift will support education, research and training in food safety through all stages of the complex product supply chain. “Over the years, Vic has been not only one of our biggest supporters, but also an inspiration to me to innovate and a leadership mentor,” says Shane Burgess, UArizona Vice President for Agriculture, Life and Veterinary Sciences and Cooperative Extension. “He is especially excited that our food safety curriculum will be taught in Spanish as well as English, and so will be even more accessible to professionals already working in this industry.”

PANDA Endowed Professorship in Autoimmune Disease

PANDA, which stands for People Acting Now Discover Answers, has partnered with Steele Children’s Research Center for two decades. These endowed gifts are the largest in the history of PANDA’s support for discoveries to improve treatments and cures for devastating childhood diseases.


List of Programs and Endowed Chairs

Program Endowed Chair(s)
Terry J. Lundgren Endowed Chair in the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Scott Hessell
Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Endowed Professorship of Persian Language Narges Nematollahi
Jeffrey B.Plevan Chairs in Israel Studies Anat Balint
The RealReal,Inc. Endowed Chair in Gemology Ananya Mallik
Philecology Chairs for Biospheric Research Peter Troch and Kevin Bonine
Victor P. Smith Endowed Chair in Food Safety Education Margarethe Cooper
Craig M. Berge Endowed Dean’s Chair in Engineering David Hahn
Musil Family Endowed Chair in Drug Discovery Donna Zhang
Founders Endowed Chair in Education for Global Children’s and Adolescent Literature Kathy Short
Andrew Weil Endowed Chair in Integrative Medicine Victoria Maizes
Andrew Weil Endowed Chair for Research in Integrative Medicine Esther Sternberg
PANDA Endowed Professorship in Autoimmune Disease Pawel Kiela
PANDA Endowed Faculty Research in Autoimmune Disease Michael Daines
PANDA Endowed Faculty Research in Developmental Pediatrics Sydney Rice
Alan and Janice Levin Family Endowed Professorship in Pediatrics Fayez Ghishan
Arizona Elks Endowed Chair in Statewide Pediatric Wayne Morgan
Arizona Elks Endowed Faculty Research for Technology and Innovation Pawel Kiela and Fayez Ghishan
James C. Wyant Distinguished Endowed Chairs in Optical Sciences James T. Schwiegerling, David Brady and Matt Eichenfield


For additional information and questions please contact:

Clint McCall clint.mccall@uafoundation.org 520.621.9069