Give to the School of Science


Support the Future of Science


You can direct your gift to a program in the School of Science and play an important part in sustaining our academic mission. Such support is essential to the ongoing strength of our programs and the future of our students. 

The School of Science at Saint Mary's College educates students to be capable scientists and have broad intellectual interests. Our science program produces students who have strong theoretical and empirical skills, who can ask fundamental questions about science and its methods, and who are ethically aware of the impacts science has on society.

Comprehensive science education is critical for preparing the next generation to manage global challenges and contribute meaningfully to the work of the 21st century. To address this need, the School of Science at Saint Mary’s College is building on its strong undergraduate science program by implementing a plan to build upon the School of Sciences’ (SOS) recent and successful laboratory equipment initiative and provide enhanced undergraduate research opportunities for all students.

To learn more, contact Heidi Stornetta Butler at (925) 631-8666.

2023-24 Giving Initiatives



Saint Mary’s aims to invest in both annual and endowed research funds over the next couple of years in order to increase significantly the total number of students able to participate in this program.

·      With a minimum gift/pledge of $100,000: donors can create a restricted, named endowed SOS Student Research fund, which would guarantee funding of approximately $5,000 each year in perpetuity to support this unique scholarly research program. This gift could be pledged over 3-5 years and would generate income once the fund reaches $100,000.

·      With a minimum annual gift of $10,000—or increments of $10,000: donors can sponsor one or more students’ participation in SOS student research opportunities.



Created this year in response to the increasing need for flexible funding, the Dean’s Fund for Excellence provides critical on-demand funding each year for a variety of needs in the School of Science that are essential for student and faculty outcomes. The fund will be used at the Dean’s discretion and may include:

  • Funds for students who find themselves unable to meet the costs associated with their studies, including books, lab fees, travel to present research
  • Faculty development investments so professors have support to fully explore their research and teaching endeavors
  • Flexible dollars for unexpected, mission-centered opportunities that aren’t included in the current year’s operating budget



Currently, 66% of Saint Mary’s students receive need-based financial aid, and 23% come from low-income households as demonstrated by Pell Grant eligibility—homes where even modest housing is likely to consume a third or more of family income. Low-income and first-generation students with financial need face a great deal of stress in trying to fund a college education. This exerts pressure on students to work for income while in school and may cause them to rethink their academic plans and attendance at baccalaureate institutions and graduate school, thereby limiting their career potential. Scholarship programs have a dramatic impact, not only on students’ ability to stay in school but also their ability to stay focused on their academic studies while they are matriculated, giving them a much greater chance of success.

Endowed Scholarship Gift Opportunities

  • With a minimum gift/pledge of $100,000: donors can create an endowed, restricted scholarship for students in the School of Science with specific science majors or other specific criteria.
  • With a minimum gift/pledge of $50,000: donors can create endowed, unrestricted scholarships for students in the School of Science, regardless of major.
  • With a minimum gift of $10,000 (or increments of $10,000): donors can create designated, annual scholarships for students enrolled in the School of Science.



Over the past couple of years, generous donors to the School of Science helped the College purchase a number of exciting and essential pieces of equipment. As scientific research and technology in the field evolve, maintaining updated science equipment in our Biology and Chemistry departments will be critical for our ability to respond to these changes.  Having resources available for new and improved equipment—without having to depend on the ebb and flow of annual donor interests—will further catalyze opportunities for new courses, labs, and research projects in chemistry and biochemistry, thereby enhancing science education for more than 2800 undergraduate students over the next 15 years.

New equipment and research opportunities will attract more students and support faculty efforts to grow these programs while stimulating new teaching and research on timely subjects such as surface-level air pollution, climate change, and the identification of new pharmaceutical compounds for medical advances. Building an endowment exclusively for science equipment will improve the opportunities for student research, expand the research possibilities for our faculty, and enhance the classroom and laboratory opportunities in the School of Science.

  • With a minimum gift/pledge of $100,000: donors can create a named SOS Science Equipment Endowed Fund, which would guarantee funding in perpetuity for modern, updated scientific equipment.
  • With gifts/pledges of $10,000 or more: donors can be part of building the Science Equipment Endowment Fund to our goal of $1 million.

Your Donation Makes a Difference

Science students with ozone monitoring equipment in a national park

Ozone Monitoring for Health and Conservation

Donations to student research create opportunities for students to study impactful real-world science.