By Wileen Wong Kromhout

The Muriel K. and Robert B. Allan Fund has been established at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science with an endowed estate gift of $2.6 million. The gift will be used to fund student scholarships and provide faculty support.

Muriel K. Allan, who passed away in 2008, received her bachelor’s degree in education in 1950 from UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. She was an elementary school teacher and a lifetime member of the UCLA Alumni Association.

Her husband, Robert B. Allan, worked for Lockheed Martin for more than three decades. He graduated from Auburn University with a degree in aeronautical engineering and was a member of Auburn’s Engineering Eagles Society. Robert died in July.

The couple, who had no children, was adamant about helping students who have a strong work ethic, and because of Muriel’s love for her alma mater, both agreed to leave their estate to UCLA.

“We are fortunate to have alumni who are so supportive of the university and its students,” said Vijay K. Dhir, dean of UCLA Engineering. “Their gift will help many engineering students realize their dream of a UCLA education.”

A large portion of the gift will be dedicated to undergraduate scholarships. Scholarships for engineering undergraduates are an urgent necessity, Dhir said. With a commitment to an enriched undergraduate education, the school continues to make enhancements in curriculum, providing new interdisciplinary courses and increasing its wide array of research opportunities. These endowed scholarships will guarantee renewable support, enabling many more students to achieve a degree from UCLA.

Support to recruit and retain distinguished faculty scholars today is also critical, in light of diminishing public resources, Dhir said. A portion of the gift will also help the school to recruit and retain key faculty for teaching and research excellence.

The Muriel K. and Robert B. Allan Fund is part of UCLA Engineering’s Enhancing Engineering Excellence (E3) initiative, a $100 million fundraising effort aimed at generating new endowed faculty chairs, graduate fellowships and undergraduate scholarships, as well as funds for capital projects and diversity initiatives.