In 1985, a dedicated group of friends and associates formed the Jules and Doris Stein UCLA Support Group as an independent organization charged with managing volunteer activities at the Institute. Endowed by the Jules and Doris Stein estate, the Support Group directs all its endeavors and assets exclusively to the advancement of the Institute's vision care and research activities. As its inaugural project, the Support Group entered into an agreement with the Regents of the University of California to construct the Doris Stein Eye Research Center, covering all construction costs and assuming responsibility for the project.
To carry out the Institute's many interests, the Support Group created the Development Committee in 1987 and the JSEI Affiliates in 1990 as separate entities under its established by-laws. The Development Committee was organized to raise funds and manage major projects. In addition to its first charge, providing the Doris Stein Eye Research Center with needed medical equipment and clinical furnishings, the Development Committee initiated several remodeling projects involving public and patient care areas within the Institute.
The Development Committee managed the multimillion dollar campaign to create the Bradley R. Straatsma, MD, Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology, now held by the Institute's current director, Bartly J. Mondino, MD.