The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at Cal State Fullerton got a name change to Nicholas and Lee Begovich Center for Gravitational-Wave Physics and Astronomy after a very generous donation from the center’s namesakes. Nicholas Begovich and his wife Lee donated 14 classic cars from their own collection to the university. It is one of the largest donations in the school’s history.
The Begovich Collection
The 14 classics include such stunning beauties as:
- 1952 Jaguar XK120
- 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing
- 1962 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Spyder
- 1969 Lamborghini Miura
- 1970 Chevrolet Camaro SS
- 1973 De Tomaso Pantera
- 1975 Ferrari Dino 208 GT4
Begovich’s donation is testamentary, and the single largest cash amount ever given to Cal State Fullerton. It is also the largest gift ever given to the Center for Gravitational-Wave Physics and Astronomy. When he passed away on May 3, 2020, at the age of 98, it set the gift in motion with far-reaching benefits. In early March 2021, the college sold the collection for the benefit of Rhode Island’s Audrain Automobile Museum. The collection remained intact, honoring the generous donor’s wishes that the collection is kept together.
A Far-Reaching Gift
Approximately $7 million of the gift supports the center’s student and faculty gravitational-wave research which is globally recognized. It will fund several key needs, including an upgrade of the computational resources and funding a state-of-the-art laboratory that supports faculty and students as they pursue vital research and discoveries in gravitational waves.
The $3 million that remains will go to support interdisciplinary research at the College of Engineering and Computer Science in the area of sustainable energy and power. This was an area that Begovich, an engineer himself, was fascinated with and pursued a continued interest in the areas of engineering and computer science through his support of the school. And now he lives on in these closely held passions as students pursue education and research, paving the way for a greater tomorrow.
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