Supporting Student Athletes

Donn Bernstein

Donn Bernstein

Donn Bernstein was known to many as UC Santa Barbara's first full-time sports information director from 1964 to 1972 and was a dedicated supporter of UCSB athletics and student athletes for decades. A generous gift in Donn's estate plan transformed a long-standing commitment into a remarkable legacy when he passed away in October 2019.

Donn thoughtfully named the UC Santa Barbara Foundation as the beneficiary of his 401(k), which established the Jim and Cheryl Barber Living Scholars Fund to support student athletes at UCSB. Jim Barber, who passed away in 2016, was a 1967 alumnus and close friend to Donn. He and Cheryl were also deeply passionate about UCSB's Intercollegiate Athletics program, and their friendship inspired Donn to name a scholarship in honor of the couple.

An honorary alumnus and member of the Gaucho Athletic Hall of Fame, Donn left UCSB for the University of Washington and subsequently moved to New York to serve as ABC's director of media relations for NCAA football. He then spent 25 years at Cohn & Wolfe, a global public relations firm, before retiring a few years ago.

Donn was noted for his genuine and generous nature, his strong connection to colleagues and friends past and present, and his willingness to help wherever needed. When asked about his gift at the time he set up the estate gift, Donn noted, "Knowing my gift will support future student athletes makes this just as much a gift to me as to UCSB. I can't think of a better reason to share what I've been given." With this meaningful legacy, Donn will be remembered by future generations of student athletes for years to come.

Like Donn, you can leave a lasting legacy through a beneficiary designation at UC Santa Barbara. To learn how, contact Ilana Ormond at 805-893-5556 or