Earlier this year, longtime supporters Meyer and Renee Luskin made a transformative $100 million gift to UCLA aimed at helping us connect even more deeply with the world beyond our campus. Of that amount, $40 million was dedicated to a truly visionary project: a major conference and guest center on campus that will allow us to compete with universities all over the world for important meetings.
Enhancing civic engagement has always been one of my top priorities, and this project helps satisfy that. A conference center on campus is a tremendous forum for connecting our faculty, researchers and students with scholars from every corner of the globe — a state-of-the-art space where they can exchange ideas and elevate debate on some of society’s greatest challenges.
Since we presented our original plan earlier this year, we decided a re-evaluation was necessary. After detailed study, we decided on a new campus location that does not compromise our vision for the project and has the added benefit of being centrally located, right off Westwood Plaza and close to UCLA icons like Pauley Pavilion and Ackerman Student Union. Although our previous proposal was designed to enhance the existing Faculty Center, we listened to our faculty, many of whom have a personal attachment to that structure.
The Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference and Guest Center fulfills a long-standing need on campus for additional and more modern meeting space, as well as guest rooms for visitors attending conferences on campus. Some of the top experts in the hotel and hospitality industry conducted a thorough analysis and determined that there is sufficient demand for this project. Most important of all, it does not require any tuition revenue or state taxpayer funds.
Los Angeles has long been one of the world’s great cities and a destination for travelers worldwide. As one of the world’s great universities, UCLA needs a project like this to enhance our global image as a destination for sharing the research that distinguishes our faculty and students.
For additional details about the project, please visit UCLA Newsroom.