UCSD trustee receives ‘Sixty for Success Award’

By Kristin Luciani


Darcy Bingham, trustee of the UCSD Foundation and former staff member of UCSD, has been selected for a “Sixty for Success” award from Junior Achievement of San Diego and Imperial Counties. Bingham, a Del Mar resident, was honored June 8 with other awardees for their positive impact on the region, entrepreneurship, leadership and community involvement.

To commemorate its 60th anniversary, Junior Achievement — an organization that prepares students for economic success and community leadership through in-school and hands-on programs — selected 60 alumni to recognize for their contributions to the San Diego region.

“We’ve heard so many local success stories, it’s time to honor those who have gone through JA programs and made such a positive impact on our community,” said Joanne Pastula, president and chief executive officer of Junior Achievement of San Diego and Imperial Counties.

Bingham’s dedication to service has especially impacted the UCSD community. A self-proclaimed “philanthropreneur,” Bingham combines her entrepreneurial knowledge and philanthropic spirit to create new opportunities and ways of giving back to the university.

While serving as director of operations in UCSD’s department of recreation, and chair of the UCSD Staff Association, Bingham was one of several strategic organizers of the first Chancellor’s Challenge 5K Run/Walk for Scholars, now an annual event that has raised more than $2 million, providing scholarships for more than 800 students over the last 14 years.

Bingham received her first lessons in entrepreneurism in her high school Junior Achievement class, where she took on a project that required her to design and market a new product. The experience proved to be a valuable learning opportunity that helped her find success in her career and later in her community service endeavors.

At UC San Diego, Bingham found her philanthropic passion in helping students to participate in practical learning experiences — much like she did in Junior Achievement.

“Experiential education is so important,” said Bingham. “The classroom is fundamental, but some of the best lessons in life are learned by doing. That’s why we fund scholarships — they create opportunities for students to do research projects and internships, and gain work experience outside the classroom.”

Bingham and her husband Robert established The Darcy and Robert Bingham Endowed Scholarship, which supports UC San Diego undergraduate students who work while attending school.

“We recently selected the Bingham Scholars for this year,” she added. “It was amazing to meet these students and hear about their current projects and future goals. Through scholarship support, we really are inventing the future.”

In addition to serving on the UC San Diego Foundation, working with the Student Foundation and Development committees, Bingham serves as a member of UC San Diego’s Town and Gown and, as a past chair, continues to serve on the UC San Diego Undergraduate Scholarship Council. She also continues to co-chair the Chancellor’s Challenge 5K.

With the decline in state funding, private support for undergraduate and graduate students is more important than ever to ensure that students of all backgrounds have access to the world-class education that UC San Diego offers. To fulfill this need, the university has launched “Invent the Future,” a $50 million fundraising campaign for undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships. To learn more visit