The Mission of The Conrad Prebys Foundation is to improve quality of life—primarily in San Diego County—through the distribution of grants to support medical research, healthcare, higher education, visual and performing arts, youth development, animal conservation, and other charitable purposes consistent with Conrad Prebys’s history of philanthropy during his lifetime.
Dedicated to innovative research in the health sciences, Conrad dreamed of a cancer-free world, a dream his namesake Foundation perpetuates. Landmark contributions over the years have included the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, the Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics, and to Salk Institute for Biological Studies.
Conrad made several contributions to major healthcare institutions during his lifetime including Scripps Memorial Hospital for the creation of the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute. More recently, The Foundation enacted matching campaigns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure healthcare workers had appropriate PPE and resources to provide quality care at Scripps Health, Rady Children's Hospital, Sharp Healthcare, and UCSD Healthcare.
Conrad valued education and ingenuity, and The Foundation is proud to continue his work through support of universities, colleges, and vocational/trade schools. His major contributions to San Diego State University fund several endowed scholarships, including for students with entrepreneurial aspirations. Conrad was proud to also sponsor his alma mater, Indiana University, to "build on its strong foundation and further its profound promise to students and their futures.”
Inspired by arts of all forms from music, to paintings, to theatre, Conrad was a patron to a plethora of San Diego cultural curators including La Jolla Music Society, San Diego Symphony, San Diego Museum of Art, and The Old Globe (located in the iconic Balboa Park).
With a childlike spirit himself, Conrad regularly supported the Boys & Girls Clubs in San Diego County, with the East County location being the first-ever recipient of Conrad's burgeoning generosity. With his support, such organizations have been able to continue to provide essential services to children including engagement programs that "promote healthy lifestyles, character development, and academic success."
Conrad's joyful spirit was never more present than when at the San Diego Zoo. When asked "Why do you support the Zoo now?" Conrad responded "because I think it has entertained more people than anything else I know of—and I can’t think of another organization where so many people enjoy their day. And it gives me a good feeling." Conrad found true jubilance in wildlife encounters; a joy he and The Foundation are committed to perpetuating for the generations to come by funding interactive experiences and sponsoring conservation initiatives.