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The School of Biological Sciences contains a broad diversity of faculty and student research interests, covering the full spectrum of modern biology from biochemistry through environmental biology. Even in this age of specialization, many of the most important and exciting discoveries occur at the boundaries between traditional fields of research. Formal and informal collaborations of many kinds are a major feature of life in the School, and they frequently cut across interest group lines.

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We invite you to consider making a gift to any one of the following areas of need. The Biology General Fund allows the School the most flexibility to support its programs, scholarships and fellowships.

Additionally, making a legacy gift is a wonderful way to show your support and appreciation for the University of Utah and its mission while accommodating your own personal, financial, estate-planning, and philanthropic goals. With smart planning, you may actually increase the size of your estate and/or reduce the tax burden on your heirs. Just as important, you will know that you have made a meaningful contribution to the University of Utah.


The late K. Gordon Lark established the biology department in 1972 as its first chair. He has had a profound influence in what is now the School of Biological Sciences. With 50+ tenure-line faculty in place, the School spans disciplines from biochemistry to genetics to environmental biology. The tremendous impact of Lark’s affiliation with the University of Utah can be felt statewide and beyond. The endowment in his name funds a visiting lectureship in his name, undergraduate research opportunities and eventually a Presidential Endowed Chair to continue to recruit star faculty.

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The University of Utah has encouraged colleges and departments to offer additional undergraduate scholarships to continue to alleviate the financial burden on our students.  Donor funded scholarships allow the School of Biological Sciences to provide life-changing educational and research experiences at an exceptional value. Please consider helping our students through a scholarship contribution today.
For a limited time, the University is also offering some matching incentives for new multi-year scholarship pledges and/or new endowed scholarships. If you have ever considered naming a permanent scholarship to support biology students, now is the perfect time to do so.

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The George R. Riser Endowment was established for the Department of Biology (now SBS) in 1998. Endowment funds undergraduate and graduate student field-work and research. George Riser, who passed away in 2022 at age 98, graduated in 1947 with a Science degree, and is recipient of the SBS 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award.

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In honor of  professor emeritus Mark Nielsen to support anatomy education at the School of Biological Sciences. The scholarship funds one or more anatomy students, teachers assistants and/or mentors. Likely, your association with Mark has no price. But your gift to the U in honor of him and his extraordinary legacy will be appreciated by new students and TA's ready to hear from the hallowed halls of the Anatomy lab: "Anatomy is your new Religion!"

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This fund provides the most flexibility for the School in meeting our budgetary needs to support our faculty, student and teaching efforts. Donors who identify with and wish to sustain overall to the enduring tenor of one of the most celebrated academic units on campus will find this opportunity ideal for them.

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Coley-Kursar Endowment celebrates the legacy of ecological research and graduate student training by Phyllis Coley and the late Thomas Kursar, tropical ecologists and conservationists whose outreach with communities in central and south America is legendary. Funds support graduate students conducting field studies.

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John Legler revolutionized the field of teaching human anatomy at the University of Utah. Through his tireless efforts, tens of thousands of students have gained a detailed understanding of the structure, organization, and function of the human body. Our aim is to grow the Legler Endowment into an endowed professorship in anatomy. Whether you are a former TA, or one of the many pre-professional students who are now doctors, nurses, pharmacologists or other health-related professionals, we invite you to participate in this opportunity to honor the memory of Dr. John Legler.

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Recipients of these funds are graduate students who dedicate countless hours in the lab, the classroom, and the field. They are research colleagues to our esteemed faculty, and invaluable mentors to our undergraduate students. Your contribution can provide vital support to these students in the form of graduate scholarships and fellowships. Funds also help in recruiting excellence as well as providing students access to the Accelerated Master’s Program.

Indicate “Biology Graduate Fund” under special instructions in the form above.

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The Science Research Initiative (SRI) is a college-wide effort to prime undergraduate students for success through which The School of Biological Sciences actively seeks to increase undergraduate research and lab opportunities. Through undergraduate research scholarships and “mini-grants” we can ensure that young students are provided with ample opportunities to join robust learning communities and cohorts, receive valuable advisement and mentorship from faculty and peers, receive financial assistance and support while pursuing their Biology goals, and enjoy a deeply engaged learning experience. Early access to these resources is proven to increase student and career success.

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Legacy (Planned) Giving

We recommend that you familiarize yourself with various gift options by exploring Types of Legacy Gifts and Assets to Give. Then compare gift options and/or calculate how these gifts could work for you. And of course, please contact us for assistance or to discuss your personal situation and objectives.

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Make a donation today. Any amount helps elevate student success.