Kathy Scripps





Contact InfluenceWatch with suggested edits or tips for additional profiles.

Kathryn “Kathy” Scripps is a philanthropist from the San Diego, California, area. Her husband, Bill, is an heir to the Scripps family fortune. Scripps and her husband are major supporters of universities, especially the University of California, San Diego, from which her husband received his bachelor’s degree, and the University of Colorado-Boulder, from which their children graduated, and other civic causes. Their giving vehicle is the William and Kathryn Scripps Family Foundation. 1

Unlike many philanthropists, Scripps is generally not actively political. Her foundation does not give to political or controversial organizations, and she does not give substantial money to political candidates or causes on the state and local level. 2

Early Life

Media reports state that Kathy met her husband, Bill Scripps, playing volleyball at Moonlight Beach. They would go on to have two children. 3

Family House

In the 1990s, Kathy and Bill Scripps commissioned an architect to design a multilevel estate home on an eight-acre undeveloped property near the heart of Rancho Santa Fe, California, which is a suburb of San Diego. The structure reflected their family’s love of natural materials and the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright and the Craftsman era. 4

In 2004, the couple added an adjacent five-acre parcel. That five-acre parcel was used to build a stable and as a pasture for their five horses. 5

The house also featured a volleyball court where Kathy and her son Willie continued to play the sport. Willie went on to play the sport in college. 6

In January 2018, the Scripps decided to sell the house in Rancho Santa Fe and, as a part of the sale, they decided to get rid of furnishings that they would not use anymore. They donated over 500 furnishings to the charities Just in Time for Foster Youth and Humble Design. The two groups auctioned them off to benefit their programs working with the homeless. 7

Support for UC San Diego

One of the gifts the Scripps made to UC San Diego was to finance the restoration of Scripps Cottage on the university’s campus. The cottage is named after Bill’s great aunt, Ellen Browning Scripps, who was a philanthropist in early 20th century San Diego. 8

Later, the Scripps joined Bill’s siblings in a $6 million donation to the university’s Marine Conservation and Technology Facility. The facility would be named after Bill’s parents, Ted and Jean Scripps. The facility is set to open in Spring of 2022. 9

Support for University of Colorado

The Scripps’ children attended the University of Colorado Boulder. The Scripps became supporters of the university’s athletics programs, the Esteemed Scholars program, and the Center for Community. 10

Starting in 2012, the Scripps donated $100,000 to establish the CU News Corps, which partnered with professional media outlets to produce journalism. In 2017, the Scripps donated $2.5 million to establish the Scripps CU News Corps Endowment to continue the program in perpetuity. 11

In 2018, the Scripps donated $2 million to CU Boulder athletics to establish the Scripps Leadership and Career Development Program. The program helps student athletes receive individualized coaching in personal and professional development to help them succeed after graduation. 12


  1. “William And Kathryn Scripps Family Foundation Inc”. 2022. Propublica. Accessed February 7.
  2.  “William And Kathryn Scripps Family Foundation Inc”. 2022. Propublica. Accessed February 7.
  3. “California Theming”. 2012. San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles.
  4. “California Theming”. 2012. San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles.
  5. “California Theming”. 2012. San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles.
  6. “California Theming”. 2012. San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles.
  7. McCormac, Patty. 2018. “Scripps Family Estate Sale Items Auctioned For Charity”. The Coast News Group.
  8. Geraghty, Coleen. 2022. “Scripps Cottage Restored”. San Diego State University – SDSU Alumni. Accessed February 7.
  9. “Scripps Family Members Gift $6 Million For Naming Of New Facility”. 2022. USCD News. Accessed February 7.
  10. “Scripps Family Supports Student Investigative News With $2.5 Million Gift”. 2017. CMCI Now Magazine.
  11. “Scripps Family Supports Student Investigative News With $2.5 Million Gift”. 2017. CMCI Now Magazine.
  See an error? Let us know!