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Cameron Institute $3 Million Matching Endowment Gift Challenge Announced

C. Bryan Cameron once again demonstrates commitment to Cal Athletics

By: Cal Athletics Fund

Cal Athletics is fortunate to have amazing supporters who consistently embody the spirit of community, leadership, and excellence that defines the University of California, Berkeley. One of those individuals is C. Bryan Cameron, who established the Cameron Institute in 2019, has once again demonstrated his support with a matching gift challenge. His $3M matching endowment gift to the Cameron Institute will directly support the incredible staff that impacts the holistic experience for our student-athletes and will build upon the legacy he has helped create.

The Cameron Institute for Student-Athlete Development is a world-class model for the holistic development of student–athletes within intercollegiate athletics. Utilizing the original framework, The California Way, Cal student-athletes receive high impact specialized services across three pillars - Career Development, Community Engagement, and Mental Performance. 


Cameron has generously offered to use this as a matching gift in hopes of inspiring others to come alongside him and Cal Athletics to create a sustainable future for the Cameron Institute. To date, Cal Athletics has received $350k towards this matching gift challenge, which ends on June 30, 2025. 


"Bryan Cameron continues to demonstrate why he is in a league of his own,” Cal Associate Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Development and Director of the Cameron Institute Dr. Marissa Nichols said. “His vision, generosity, and support allow Cal to design and deliver a holistic athlete development infrastructure that is second to none. We are incredibly grateful for his continued belief in our mission and aim to be the model within intercollegiate athletics.” 


Since its inception, the Cameron Institute has grown from a team of one to a dynamic and comprehensive staff of 12 individuals. Continuing to grow and enhance the Cameron Institute team is a key priority, and two Cameron Institute positions were recently named, providing the essential funding needed to sustain and grow the institute and its programs.

“In just four years, the Cameron Institute has contributed much to so many of Cal’s outstanding student-athletes in terms of their experience at the University and their preparation for life after graduation” Cameron reflected. “I credit Dr. Nichols and the exceptional staff for much of the success and progress of the Institute, and I want to continue to invest in their work. I encourage others to join me through this matching gift program, as we build the endowment towards the goal to make the Institute fully sustainable. In the midst of so much change in college athletics, this is a program which is unique to Cal and makes a profound impact on the lives of student-athletes.  We can all be proud of the Cameron Institute and I want to thank all who have and will continue to contribute their time, talent and treasure to this worthy endeavor.”

From left: Dr. Marissa Nichols and C. Bryan Cameron

Today, the Cameron Institute’s resources and offerings to Cal student-athletes are vast. A comprehensive overview of the institute’s impact can be found in the most recent Cameron Institute Annual Report with a few key highlights from each of the pillars, including:

Career Development

  • 176 student-athletes across 285 sessions received personalized advising to support their professional development and preparedness

  • 84 student-athletes across three mentorship programs have been connected to mentors who can provide insight, knowledge and support their career goals

  • 93% of graduates report being satisfied with their post-graduate outcome


Community Engagement

  • 600+ student-athletes across 30 teams contributed 1000+ hours of service across projects that increased access to opportunity within the East Bay

  • 4,000+ youth interacted with Cal student-athletes and visited Cal’s campus through a Cameron Institute and/or team-based engagement

  • 42 campus and community partnerships through 1,000+ service hours were rated 9.5/10


Mental Performance

  • 795 one-on-one sessions were provided to student-athletes to enhance their mindset, performance, leadership, and experience in sport

  • 215 sessions delivered to enhance the mental performance of coaches and the leadership of their student-athletes

  • 461 mental performance 1:1s, 103 team sessions, and 70 coach sessions were rated 10/10

Cameron Institute Leadership Summit

 Cal "GO GIRLS GO BEARS GO PLAY" Community Event

Cameron Institute Calm-Mental Performance Session

Cameron, who attended UC Davis and Stanford for undergraduate and graduate school, respectively, has always had a passion for education. Through establishing his Bryan Cameron Education Foundation, he has been able to support scholarships and invest in those pursuing higher education. Cameron is also heavily involved in the community, serving on nonprofit boards and advisory councils throughout the Bay Area. At Cal, he serves as a UC Berkeley Foundation Trustee, Cameron Institute Advisory Board Chair, and was also a past president for Bear Backers.


“Bryan Cameron’s impact on the University of California, Berkeley, is monumental”, Cal Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton said. “His vision for the Cameron Institute, an idea back in 2018, has turned into the best student-athlete development program in the country. He continues to be a special thought partner and leader in the higher education space and we are lucky to have him as part of the Cal family."


For those interested in learning more about the matching gift challenge and positional endowments in support of the Cameron Institute, please contact the Cal Athletics Fund at (510) 642-2427 or

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