UCLA gets another $5M for sexual orientation institute

The UCLA Williams Institute received a $5.5 million donation from philanthropist and alumnus Charles R. Williams that will help it expand over the next decade. The institute, which is the only law school initiative devoted to sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy, has already been instrumental in the debate over gay marriage and other related issues. 

"In a relatively short period of time, the Williams Institute has made enormous strides in enriching the dialog about equality in this country and around the world," Williams said in a press release. "I am very proud of what has been accomplished so far, and I know that going forward, the institute is poised to address issues that make a real difference in people's lives."

The institute was named after Williams in 2006, five years after it was founded, when he donated $10 million. His combined gifts are largest ever given to an academic institution focused on sexual orientation and gender identity.

"We are honored by the ongoing philanthropic investment of Chuck Williams," said Rachel Moran, dean of the law school. "With this generous gift, he continues to play a transformative role in helping the Williams Institute expand knowledge at the intersection of sexual orientation and gender identity law and policy."

Since it’s founding in 2001, the Williams Institute has grown from a very limited part-time staff to over 20 scholarly representatives who have worked on public policy studies, law review articles and have trained over 3,000 judges in sexual orientation law.

Williams earned both his B.A. and M.B.A at UCLA.