George and Julia Argyros

NET WORTH: $2.4 billion family net worth

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Arnel & Affiliates

FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Health, Human Services, Arts & Culture, Global, Religious

OVERVIEW: George Argyros, his wife Julia, and family move their philanthropy through the Argyros Foundation, which gave away around $11 million in a recent year. Major gifts have gone to Southern California institutions including Chapman University, University of Southern California, and Children's Hospital of Orange County. Education and health are top priorities. Michigan and Texas are also regions of interest.

BACKGROUND: The grandson of Greek immigrants, George Argyros worked his way through high school and college in southern California as a paperboy and grocery clerk. He graduated from Chapman University and went on to found Arnel & Affiliates in 1968. The company owns 5,500 apartments in Orange County and nearly 2 million square feet of commercial real estate in Southern California.


EDUCATION & YOUTH: The Argyros family has directed millions to Chapman University, home to the Argyros School of Business and Economics and the Argyros Forum Student Union. Argyros served as chair of the board for 25 years; daughter Lisa, also a Chapman alum, is on the board. The Argyros Family Foundation recently gave a $7.5 million gift to USC, creating the Julia and George Argyros Plaza, renaming the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The couple are Trojan parents and grandparents. Daughter Stephanie serves on the president’s leadership council and the board of overseers of the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

The family strongly supports the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and recently gave $2.5 million to create the Argyros Girl Scout Leadership Center, Orange County’s hub for Girl Scout STEM programs. 

Other grantees include Orange County High School of the Arts Foundation, Harbor Day School, Ave Maria University, California Institute of Technology, and Adrian Schools Educational Foundation. Julia grew up in Adrian, Michigan. The family established the first scholarship program for soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan through the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. Significant funds have gone to The CSULB 49er Foundation, supporting the Julia Argyros President's Scholars.

HEALTH: Millions have gone to Children's Hospital of Orange County, City of Hope, Eisenhower Medical Center, and Hoag Hospital; at least $10 million supported nursing programs. The couple gave $5 million to University of California Irvine’s Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, establishing the Julia & George Argyros Ambulatory Surgery Center— Julia's sister was a nurse for some four decades. Other grantees include MD Anderson Cancer Center, Doheny Eye Institute, Alzheimer's Association Orange County Chapter, and Celebrity Fight Night Foundation. 

HUMAN SERVICES: Grantees include Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Orange County and Human Options, which provides safety, healing, and a way forward to victims of domestic violence in Orange County.

ARTS & CULTURE: The couple are strong local arts patrons and pledged $13.5 million to Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California. Other grantees include Discovery Science Center, Film Independent, Los Angeles Ballet, Croswell Opera House & Fine Arts Association, and The Richard Nixon Foundation. 

OTHER: Support has gone to religious outfits including St. Andrews Presbyterian Church and Orange Catholic Foundation. WE Charity (formerly Save the Children) recently received a seven-figure gift. Other support has gone to policy organizations, including American Enterprise Institute.

LOOKING FORWARD: Expect the family's robust regional giving to continue. Going forward, we'll keep an eye on this billionaire family's next generation of giving.


The foundation accepts LOIs at the address below

Wendy Hales
949 South Coast Drive, Suite 600
Costa Mesa, CA 92626