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Published:  23 July, 2008

Robert and Margrit Mondavi have made a personal gift of $35million to the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) to establish the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, and to name the campus's centre for the performing arts, which is currently under construction. The donation is said to be the largest private contribution to UC Davis, and is one of the most generous single gifts from an individual donor in the history of the university. Robert Mondavi said: "California wines are equal to the world's best in quality and diversity. We are now leading the way, with UC Davis graduates at the helm of many of our finest wineries, Robert Mondavi Winery included. We are greatly honoured to support UC Davis with new facilities that ensure its position as the world's leading educational centre for viticulture, oenology and food science." The $25million for the Wine and Food Science centre will help consolidate its teaching and research programmes in one new facility. Along with campus funds and other contributions, it will create new state-of-the-art research and teaching facilities to house the UC Davis departments of viticulture and oenology, as well as food science and technology. The institute will include an academic building of approximately 75,000ft2 of classrooms, laboratories, offices and meeting rooms. It will include a 36,000ft2 building for a new campus training and research winery. The Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, for which the couple have contributed $10million, is due to be completed in a year's time.