Skip to main content

Donor Profiles

Solar Panels
Jeff and Tina Bird

A Bright Future: Jeff and Tina Bird's Legacy of Innovation

Santa Clara University’s trajectory continues to rise, thanks to the visionary commitment of Bronco parents Jeff and Tina Bird, staunch supporters of STEM education and the environment. Their investment led them to create the “Innovation Zone” within SCU’s state-of-the-art STEM facility, the Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation (SCDI). The Birds both attended
medical school and support STEM excellence at Santa Clara.

Building on this passion, they also funded a vital campus environmental initiative in the Bird Solar Initiative Plan. By allocating half of their transformative investment to install photovoltaic systems across campus, it has more than doubled the university's on-site solar capacity and, when all phases are complete, will generate 1.4 megawatts of renewable energy annually.

The Bird Solar Initiative enhances renewable energy generation and reduces operational costs, enabling Santa Clara to reinvest these savings into its overarching Sustainability Strategic Plan. Jeff underlines the Plan’s perpetual impact, describing it as "a gift that keeps giving to the University."

The Bird family has also significantly impacted SCU’s Math Department through their support of first-year students. Their generous contributions paved the way for transformative changes now integral to the curriculum. Notably, Jeff and Tina played a pivotal role in establishing the Math Learning Center and implementing innovative tools like ALEKS—an AI-informed learning and assessment system to improve student learning outcomes and success. The Birds’ focus on first-year math instruction is based on the importance of early success in the foundations of a STEM education.

Jeff and Tina have also partnered with the Provost’s Office to support a five-year initiative to launch innovative programs to accelerate efforts to retain first-year students while enhancing their academic performance. Their investments have improved faculty training, established a comprehensive first-year seminar series, expanded the Division of Student Life’s programs, and strengthened SCU’s mental health initiatives. These programs build on Santa Clara’s already outstanding first year student retention rates.

Jeff and Tina's commitment is a wonderful example of the power of philanthropy, supporting Santa Clara University’s students and SCU’s broader vision of fostering a more humane, just, and sustainable campus and world.