Scripps Family Contributes $4.6 Million Towards Two Crucial Scripps Oceanography Projects


The University of California San Diego today announced charitable gifts from more than a dozen descendants of Edward W. Scripps that will make possible two crucial and high-profile projects at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The gifts underscore the family’s commitment to the advance the mission of Scripps Oceanography to find solutions to our greatest environmental challenges.

Included in the projects covered by the $4.6 million in family gifts is the replacement of the railing on the Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier, and the reconstruction and modernization of the Center for Coastal Studies, which will be named after longtime supporters Charles and Lois “Beano” Scripps.

“The scientific research completed at the Charles and Beano Scripps Center for Coastal Studies and on the Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier is vital to further our understanding of coastal processes,” said Margaret Leinen, vice chancellor of marine sciences at UC San Diego and director of Scripps Oceanography. “We’re very fortunate to have the Scripps family’s continued support of our mission to find solutions to our greatest environmental challenges.”

Ellen Browning Scripps Pier Railing Replacement

Beginning this summer, a new, modern railing will be installed on the Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier. Designed to replace a railing originally installed in 1988, the installation of the new railing is expected to be completed in approximately one year. This renovation is a key step in the ongoing improvement of the Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier.

Ten individual family members as well as multiple family foundations representing nine more family members collaborated on a $2.6 million charitable gift to support the replacement of the pier railing. All the family members are descendants of Robert Paine Scripps, a son of Edward W. Scripps and a nephew of Ellen Browning Scripps. 

A fixture on the San Diego coastline for more than a century, the Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier is the locale of one of the world’s longest continuous records of seawater temperature and salinity. Instrumentation on the pier also measures atmospheric carbon dioxide, meteorological conditions and surface currents from above, and ocean pH and plankton in the waters below. The pier contains a launch for small, nearshore research vessels and provides a supply of filtered seawater to laboratories on campus and to Birch Aquarium at Scripps. The pier will be fully operational during construction and scientific research in progress on the pier will remain unimpeded.

Charles and Beano Scripps Center for Coastal Studies

The Center for Coastal Studies is an important research and instructional resource that houses Scripps’ Integrative Oceanography Division. Its scientists study physical processes of the ocean that inform society about issues facing the California coast and shoreline, including coastal erosion, shoreline pollution transport, and sea-level rise.

A $2 million charitable gift to the UC San Diego Foundation will support the reconstruction and modernization of the Center for Coastal Studies building. In recognition of this gift, the renovated facility will be known as the Charles and Beano Scripps Center for Coastal Studies.

This project was made possible by Charles E. Scripps Jr., Eaton M. Scripps, Marilyn J. Scripps, and the Heidt Family Foundation (Julia Scripps Heidt and Dr. Robert S. Heidt Jr., Trustees). The gift was made in memory of the donors’ parents, Charles E. Scripps Sr. and his wife Lois “Beano” Scripps, who supported a range of initiatives at Scripps Oceanography.

The updated facility, located at the base of the Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier, will hold office space for faculty and graduate students, and areas to develop and test observational equipment used to monitor coastal changes. The proximity of the building to the ocean is critical to the success of the research, as the location allows for efficient testing of instrumentation on the beach and cliffs near the building.

Construction on the renovation of the 11,100-square foot building will begin this summer and is expected to be completed by Spring 2019.  The total cost for the revitalization is $6.1 million, the balance of which will be paid for by campus sources.

“The Scripps family has been instrumental to the founding and continued support of Scripps Institution of Oceanography,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “I’m incredibly thankful that generations of the Scripps family have continued to support UC San Diego, and the university’s effort to understand and protect the planet.”

More information on supporting Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Campaign for UC San Diego can be found at

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