Ocean Discovery Institute staff, students, families, and supporters came together on Feb. 7 to celebrate a transformative $1 million gift from the Walter J. & Betty C. Zable Foundation.
The Walter J. & Betty C. Zable Foundation has made a transformative investment in both Ocean Discovery Institute and the City Heights community that will resonate for years to come. In early February, the Foundation contributed $1 million to support the vision of our Living Lab, which will allow us to reach 20,000 young people each year! This incredibly generous and visionary gift is a huge step towards making the Living Lab a reality.
Ocean Discovery celebrated the pivotal gift with the community on Feb. 7 with a barbecue at the City Heights home of longtime supporters Jody Carey and Dennis Wood. Nearly 100 people attended the festivities, including Walter J. & Betty C. Zable Foundation President Warren Magill and San Diego City Councilmember Marti Emerald.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to support Ocean Discovery Institute in such a meaningful way,” Magill said. “By supporting the Living Lab, the Walter J. & Betty C. Zable Foundation is making a significant difference for young people in need of opportunity while strengthening San Diego’s scientific workforce. While we were considering this grant, another board member remarked that this project would have been something that ‘Walt would have loved.’ I couldn’t agree more.”
The Walter J. & Betty C. Zable Foundation’s generous gift is contingent upon us raising another $1 million by August. This commitment is critical in helping us leverage supporters to complete this vision.
“We’re so grateful to the Walter J. & Betty C. Zable Foundation for believing in our organization, our community and – most importantly – our amazing students,” said Ocean Discovery Executive Director Shara Fisler. “This crucial gift brings us so close to fulfilling the vision of the Living Lab and reaching 20,000 young people every year with high quality science. I know our incredible community of supporters will take us the rest of the way. Together, we will make it happen!”
About these incredibly generous donors
Walter J. and Betty C. Zable were technology industry pioneers whose legacy of innovation shapes the opportunities our region provides today. Walter founded the technology company Cubic and he and Betty both dedicated a lifetime of philanthropy to communities in need. The Zable family represents what all our students strive to be – scientific leaders who make a difference in the world. That’s why we are thrilled to name the entryway of the Living Lab the Walter J. & Betty C. Zable Foundation Discovery Gallery.
About the Living Lab
Built on the premise “If I know how the world works, I can make a difference,” the Living Lab will be a 12,000 square foot cutting-edge facility with 35,000 square feet of outdoor, natural features. The facility is strategically located in City Heights, within walking distance for thousands of students.
The Living Lab’s design is similar to a scientific field station where authentic discoveries and interactions take place. Students’ curiosity, knowledge, skills, and leadership will be cultivated through access to the latest technology, two well-equipped labs, a scientist in residence quarters that will allow day-to-day interactions between students and scientists, and space for students and families to receive college and career coaching. The Living Lab will open to the public in December 2016.