Couple's donation of 15 cars will benefit the future of cosmic discoveries.
Nicholas and Lee Begovich are longtime donors of California State University, Fullerton, and the couple's recent donation of 15 cars – worth an estimated $10 million – caps nearly 50 years of support for the school. The cars will be bequeathed to CSUF at which time they will be sold to benefit Cal State Fullerton's Center for Gravitational-Wave Physics and Astronomy, which will be renamed the Nicholas and Lee Begovich Gravitational-Wave Physics and Astronomy Center.
The collection consists mainly of European sports cars from the '50s, '60s and '70s including a 1952 Jaguar XK120, 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, 1969 Lamborghini Miura, 1973 DeTomaso Pantera and a 1975 Ferrari Dino 208 GT4. Mr. Begovich, 98, is a retired engineering executive, and he has been collecting cars since the early 1950s. Mrs. Begovich, 91, is an art historian and former first-grade teacher. Most recently, the couple donated $1 million to CSUF's Arts Department in 2010, and the main art gallery was renamed the Nicholas and Lee Begovich Gallery.
Donations are a great way for universities to raise money while letting wealthy people put their names put on buildings, but Mr. Begovich hopes that this donation helps to inspire future donors as much as it helps to educate future students.
"I hope I'm setting an example. If [students are] fortunate enough to be able to accumulate wealth, there is a place for it. To supply the funds to advanced or understand the world, that is a major, major joy. More of a joy than any physical sort of things could ever give you."
Here's the full list of all 15 cars donated:
1951 Talbot Lago Grand Sport
1952 Jaguar XK120
1953 Pegaso Z102B
1954 Pegaso Z102 Series II Cabriolet
1956 Porsche Speedster 1600 Super
1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing
1962 Covair Monza Spyder
1964 Alfa Romeo Guilletta Sprint Speciale
1964 Porsche 904 GTS
1966 ATS Automobili Turismo Sports
1969 Lamborghini Miura
1970 Chevrolet Camaro SS
1973 DeTomaso Pantera
1974 Maserati Bora
1975 Ferrari Dino 208 GT4