The University of Florida received a $100 million gift to help seed a 10-year public-private campaign with a goal of raising $1 billion for UF Scripps Biomedical Research in Jupiter.
The money was donated by the Dr. Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Family Foundation and is the largest gift from an individual donor the university has ever received.
The university hopes the $100 million will help attract investments from other philanthropic partners for the development of a 100-acre-plus campus, including a 30-acre campus situated within Palm Beach County’s innovation corridor. The campus will be named the Herbert Wertheim UF Scripps Institute for Biomedical Innovation & Technology.
“This historic gift is a testament to Dr. Wertheim’s extraordinary philanthropic vision and his belief in UF and UF Health’s boundary-breaking work to accelerate scientific discovery for the health, welfare and benefit of all those we serve,” UF President Kent Fuchs said in a prepared statement. “Together, we will not only strengthen the clinical expertise of our top five public universities; we will shape a culture of inspiration where future generations of scientists can marshal their creative energies in pursuit of scientific and clinical breakthroughs.”
Wertheim is a UF alum, scientist, engineer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and member of the Scripps Research Board of Directors.
Scripps Research, located in La Jolla, California, first began working with state officials in 2003 to set up a subsidiary campus in Jupiter, which eventually opened in 2009.
A 2021 study showed the campus has produced more than $3.2 billion in economic impact since its 2009 opening and it has supported renowned research programs focused on RNA structure and therapeutics, brain health and neurotherapeutics, and finding a cure for HIV, among many others.
Discussions to integrate UF and UF Health with the Scripps Florida campus began in mid-2021 at the behest of Wertheim. The agreement, finalized in April, gave UF and UF Health an entrance into the South Florida market.
Two months later UF Health had a signed agreement with Jupiter Medical Center.
“I have had the privilege of watching firsthand UF’s growth into one of the nation’s best public universities, and the integration of UF Scripps with UF Health has advanced UF to the next plateau of success,” Wertheim said. “There is tremendous potential at this campus to recruit other world-class researchers and explore scientific possibilities that cannot be done elsewhere. I am proud to have my name connected to an initiative that will truly make life on Earth better for so many.”