“We are overjoyed that the Pacific Life Foundation chose the LIFEvest program for this transformational gift,” says Christopher Schwarz, associate professor of finance and the faculty director of the Center for Investment and Wealth Management. From left to right: Merage School Dean Eric Spangenberg; Pacific Life Foundation President Tennyson Oyler; Pacific Life Chairman, President and CEO Jim Morris; and Professor Christopher Schwarz. • Laurel Hungerford/UCI

UCI’s LIFEvest Financial Literacy Program Receives $2 Million Gift from Pacific Life Foundation

Irvine, CA - (January 29, 2019) - LIFEvest, a residential financial literacy program for teens run by the UCI Paul Merage School of Business’s Center for Investment and Wealth Management (CIWM), has received a $2 million gift from the Pacific Life Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Newport Beach-based insurance company.

The gift is the largest the Pacific Life Foundation will make in 2019.

The LIFEvest program hosts eighth and ninth graders from underserved communities for a week-long program on the UCI campus during which the students stay in UCI dorms and eat in UCI dining halls. During the week, the teens learn financial literacy to motivate and prepare them to be the first in their families to go to college.

“We are overjoyed that the Pacific Life Foundation chose the LIFEvest program for this transformational gift,” says Christopher Schwarz, associate professor of finance and the faculty director of CIWM. “LIFEvest makes a huge impact in these young people’s lives. Not only does it provide important financial skills, but the residential component also allows students to believe they belong in college. Over the course of the week you can see a huge change in the students’ confidence and plans for their futures.”

In the program, students learn about the value of education, financial budgeting, and saving for retirement. Additionally, they hear from guest speakers, visit local businesses and participate in a social etiquette dinner.

“UCI has built a wonderful experience for students in the LIFEvest program and the Pacific Life Foundation’s investment will help broaden the program’s reach and impact to students in Orange County,” says Jim Morris, chairman, president and CEO of Pacific Life. “Through this partnership, we aim to instill a lifelong curiosity in personal finance and provide students the necessary financial skills and confidence to pursue a college education.”

More than 400 students have attended the program since it started nine years ago and in 2018 alone, 100 students participated over the course of three weeks. After the week-long program ends, LIFEvest continues to help the students on their path to college through events and additional educational programming. Last March, program alumni came again to the UCI campus to learn more about the college application process as well as attended UCI’s homecoming basketball game.

Over the next 10 years, the Pacific Life Foundation’s gift will not only assist with the cost of the residential programs each summer, but also provide the financial resources necessary to expand these types of events that support LIFEvest students between the summer residency as they begin high school and when they go to college.

“Just as important as the financial support, we look forward to Pacific Life’s employees and other nonprofit partners getting involved in our expanded mentorship program, career panels and junior college preparation boot camp,” Schwarz says.

About The Paul Merage School of Business

The Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine offers four dynamic MBA programs – plus PhD, specialty masters and undergraduate business degrees – that prepare business leaders for our digitally driven world. Through our programs, students acquire the exceptional ability to grow their organizations through strategic innovation, analytical decision-making, digital information technology and collaborative execution. While the Merage School is relatively young, it has quickly grown to rank consistently among the top five percent of all business programs worldwide through exceptional student recruitment, world-class faculty, a strong alumni network and close relationships with both individual business executives and global corporations. Additional information is available at

About Pacific Life and the Pacific Life Foundation

For more than 150 years, Pacific Life has helped millions of individuals and families with their financial needs through a wide range of life insurance products, annuities, and mutual funds, and offers a variety of investment products and services to individuals, businesses, and pension plans. Pacific Life counts more than half of the 100 largest U.S. companies as its clients. For additional company information, including current financial strength ratings, visit

The Pacific Life Foundation (the Foundation) was established in 1984. Together with Pacific Life, the Foundation has contributed more than $109 million to community and national nonprofit organizations. Grants are made to organizations that address a broad spectrum of social needs.

Pacific Life refers to Pacific Life Insurance Company and its affiliates, including Pacific Life & Annuity Company. Client count as of June 2018 is compiled by Pacific Life using the 2018 FORTUNE 500® list.