The Caltech Commitment: Summary of Findings from the Final Assessment

Mar 9, 2016

In 2002, the newly founded Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation made an unprecedented 10-year ”Commitment” of $300 million to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Combined with a separate, personal gift from Gordon and Betty Moore of $300 million, Caltech became the recipient of the largest donation ever made to an institute of higher learning. The Foundation’s Commitment was meant to “advance Caltech’s position at the forefront of higher education, technological development, and scientific research, and to foster significant scientific achievements in the life and physical sciences.”

In keeping with the Moore Foundation’s practice of evaluating its major grantmaking projects, an independent final assessment was completed by Science-Metrix in 2013. The Foundation asked Science-Metrix to: • Understand the impact of the Commitment on advancing science broadly; • Examine the impact of the Commitment at the institution-level for Caltech; and • Articulate lessons learned about deploying a long-term, single-institution funding model.

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