Chapman University’s continuing growth in the health sciences has been given a boost by a $15 million gift from Newport Beach couple Harry and Diane Rinker. The gift, announced at Saturday evening’s American Celebration gala, will name Chapman’s new health science campus in Irvine the Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus. The funds will be used to support Chapman’s graduate programs in health sciences housed at the Irvine campus, including pharmacy, physical therapy and physician’s assistant.

“Harry and Diane’s visionary generosity will make possible

the education of future health scientists in Orange County,” said President Jim Doti. “The graduate programs that will be housed within the Rinker Health Science Campus will help to address the critical social need for a new generation of healthcare professionals, as well as provide new methods in educating future health professionals.”

This transformational gift follows in the steps of other major announcements from Chapman in the past year dedicated to growth in health science. In 2012, the university purchased two large research-and-development buildings in the Irvine Spectrum area to launch its health science campus, and in 2013 added a third building to the growing campus. In addition to purchasing the facilities in Irvine, Chapman is currently raising funds to build the new Center for Science and Technology on its Orange campus. Chapman has also recently announced the development of a new School of Pharmacy and a physician’s assistant program – both of which are slated to begin admitting students in fall 2014 and which will be housed on the Rinker campus. Chapman’s existing physical therapy doctoral program – one of the oldest in the nation – will move to the Rinker Health Science Campus.

“Chapman University has devoted significant attention to science and technology in recent years, and this gift from Harry and Diane Rinker will help propel Chapman into an area where we think we can make a long-term impact,” said Chapman Chancellor Daniele Struppa.

Harry and Diane Rinker are longtime supporters of Chapman; the library in the university’s Dale E. Fowler School of Law is named for them, and two of their grandchildren are recent Chapman graduates.  Harry Rinker owns the Rinker Company, a real estate investment and development company in Costa Mesa.