Henry Riggs

KGI and the Riggs Family Announce the Establishment of The Henry E. Riggs School of Applied Life Sciences

Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) is proud to announce the naming of its School of Applied Life Sciences as the Keck Graduate Institute Henry E. Riggs School of Applied Life Sciences, effective immediately.

The school naming recognizes a transformative gift from Mrs. Gayle Carson Riggs and the Riggs Family in honor of President Henry E. “Hank” Riggs, who in the mid-1990s shepherded the school from his idea to institutional plan to its launch, and served as KGI’s president for seven years.

In addition to providing general support for the Henry E. Riggs School of Applied Life Sciences, the gift establishes The Henry E. Riggs Endowed Chair in Business and Bioscience Ethics, The Gayle Carson Riggs Student Center, The Riggs Fund for STEM Inclusion, and the Henry E. Riggs Endowed Student Fellowship Fund.

  • The Henry E. Riggs Endowed Chair in Business and Bioscience Ethics will promote the important role of ethics in science and business within the KGI curriculum
  • The Gayle Carson Riggs Student Center housed inside the new Oasis KGI Commons will provide space for students to gather, study, and socialize
  • The Riggs Fund for STEM Inclusion will promote STEM success among women, girls, and other historically underrepresented student populations
  • The Henry E. Riggs Endowed Student Fellowship Fund will establish the first comprehensive (100% tuition) student fellowships (Riggs Fellows) within the Henry E. Riggs School of Applied Life Sciences

“Hank would be proud that KGI has maintained its focus on training future leaders in the biosciences, ethics, and business,” says Mrs. Riggs. “This gift honors his vision and promotes his everlasting passion for student success.”

Hank Riggs was an early Silicon Valley entrepreneur, a professor of engineering, Vice President for Development at Stanford University, and President of Harvey Mudd College. During his time at Harvey Mudd, Riggs could not escape the notion that colleges and universities needed to be more flexible and entrepreneurial to serve their students and the public good.

Hank also believed that life sciences would dominate the 21st century and that new institutions should educate the future leaders in this realm. This led to Riggs’ vision for KGI: the nation’s first graduate school dedicated solely to preparing students for professional careers in life sciences. In 1997, with a generous $50 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation, Hank founded Keck Graduate Institute, the seventh member of The Claremont Colleges. He served as the institution’s first president until 2003.

Today, KGI is comprised of three schools: The Henry E. Riggs School of Applied Life Sciences, the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and the Minerva Schools at KGI.

Says current KGI President Sheldon Schuster: “What began as Hank’s ‘radical’ vision for the future of education in the applied life sciences has grown into a respected, competitive academic destination for students serious about becoming industry leaders. This transformative gift ensures the continued enrichment of academic programs and student support within the applied life sciences.

We are grateful to Gayle Riggs and the Riggs family for their extreme generosity and continued belief in KGI.”