UC Irvine Nobel Laureate Frederick Reines and his wife, Sylvia, strongly believed in promoting creativity in the mind.
They were longtime patrons of the campus, eager to create a long-term and positive impact. Sylvia was deeply involved in campus activities during her four decades of supporting UC Irvine.
The couple’s contributions to UC Irvine were widespread, and before she passed away, Sylvia created generous bequests in her trust. For years, she had supported numerous charities and nonprofit organizations that educated, healed, inspired and preserved history for future generations as well as those that protected the natural world and the environment.
“Over time, the number grew to more than 40 separate charities, and her last act was to give, one final time, to th e select few that were closest to her ideals and to her heart,” says her daughter, Alisa Reines Cowden.
The couple’s substantial financial support to UC Irvine will be used to support a lectureship in the physical sciences, scholarships in music and drama, and to enhance the library’s special collections.
Frederick was the founding dean of the School of Physical Sciences at Irvine, and he received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1995 for co- discovering neutrinos, a type of sub- atomic particle. Two years later, a building in the Department of Physics was named in his honor. Although he garnered much respect for his brilliant mind, he was also accessible and was widely known for whistling show tunes as he walked the halls. He died in 1998.
— Bill Ross, University Advancement