Lincy Foundation Ceases to Exist, with All Funds Given to UCLA to Create ‘Dream Fund’


Kirk Kerkorian

LOS ANGELES — On Monday, the chancellor of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Gene Block and Kirk Kerkorian, founder of the Lincy Foundation, announced the formation of the Dream Fund at UCLA.

The fund has been created by the transfer by the Lincy Foundation of all its assets (valued at approximately $200 million) and its charitable programs in progress to the Dream Fund. Upon receipt of requisite government approval, the Lincy Foundation will complete this gift and terminate its operations, according to a press release from UCLA.

The fund would be used toward supporting research at the university, as well as the support of a wide range of charitable projects throughout the United States.

The Dream Fund will be part of and administered by the UCLA Foundation.

“The UCLA Foundation and the entire UCLA community are grateful for a magnificent act of support by a private foundation,” Block said. “Mr. Kerkorian and the Lincy Foundation have a long history of major charitable giving and the UCLA Foundation is honored to have been entrusted to continue their mission.”

The Lincy Foundation was established in 1989 to benefit charitable organizations in the US and around the globe. Since it began, it has made major gifts of over $1.1 billion to schools, hospitals, scientific research projects and other endeavors. The Lincy Foundation has also supported Armenian charities in the United States, as well as endeavors in the Republic of Armenia.

The Lincy Foundation has long donated to many Armenian schools and to the United Armenia Fund (UAF), whose executive director is Harut Sassounian. Just last week, the UAF announced that it had received a $10.5-million gift from the Lincy Foundation. Sassounian, incidentally, is the longtime senior vice president of the Lincy Foundation.

Said Sassounian about the UAF, “We’re still in business and doing what we do.”

Jay Rakow of the Lincy Foundation said that the move will be finalized as soon as the California Attorney General’s office approves it.

“This was a foundation decision. Lincy has been a big benefactor of UCLA for many years. This is a large gift to UCLA because we were very happy with the way they had used the previous gifts,” he noted.

The UCLA Foundation receives, manages and distributes contributions made by alumni, friends, private foundations and corporations to UCLA’s many professional schools, academic departments and operating units.

Block, the chancellor of the state university, in a video at UCLA’s website, said, “The magnitude of the gift lets us address important societal issues in a way that could not be addressed if we didn’t have this source of funding.”

In addition, he said, the fund will enable UCLA to use it in the way it deems best, primarily supporting research.

Block said the current situation has created an ideal collaboration between the state, a public institution and a private foundation.

— Alin K. Gregorian