Scripps Research Institute receives gift worth tens of millions

January 2018

The nonprofit Scripps Research Institute said Wednesday that it received a gift worth tens of millions of dollars, a donation the lab’s president called “transformational.”


Scripps declined to specify the precise amount of the gift from the Skaggs family, which made its fortune in the drugstore business and in 1996 gave $100 million to Scripps. The institute said its graduate school in San Diego and Jupiter will be renamed the Skaggs Graduate School of Chemical and Biological Sciences.

Scripps’ grad school was founded in 1989 and has 69 students in Jupiter and nearly 300 in San Diego.

The Skaggs family’s gift is set up as a matching program. When another donor gives $500,000, the Skaggs family will match the $500,000 donation.

Patriarch Sam Skaggs died in 2013. His children live in Salt Lake City.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush recruited Scripps to Florida in 2003 with $310 million in state money to open a campus here. Palm Beach County sweetened the pot with an additional $269 million in incentives. 

Part of the pitch was that wealthy Palm Beachers would open their wallets. While Scripps Florida has brought in donations of as much as $1 million apiece from Palm Beach County business leaders, the institute has yet to land a huge sum.

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