Volume 25 · Number 3 · Spring 2008
Alumni Giving Back
Alumni have a long-standing history of providing gift support for UC Davis’ mission to serve society and graduate exceptional students.
Professor Jonathan Widdicombe, a UC Davis expert on airway function and its relation to cystic fibrosis, has had his research furthered by the philanthropic support of Pam Fair ’80. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)
When Maurice ’71 and Marcia Gallagher pledged $10 million to the UC Davis Graduate School of Management last fall, they not only honored the university with the largest gift by a UC Davis alumnus, they also highlighted the dedication of alumni to giving back.
Their gift aids construction of the new three-story, 40,000-square-foot home for the school and will also be used to establish an endowment to provide for faculty and student support and cutting-edge programs.
Dean Nicole Woolsey Biggart emphasized the value of alumni giving to the business school’s success.
“We are grateful for alumni like Maury who make contributions — small and large — that provide the university with the means for excellence and accessibility.”
Last year, more than 15,000 alumni gave gifts to UC Davis, benefiting student scholarships, faculty chairs, academic and research programs and facilities, as well as providing unrestricted support.
Alumni give to their alma mater for many reasons. While the Gallaghers saw a way to create transformative change for the Graduate School of Management, alumna Nancy Torres, J.D. ’86, had personal reasons to support the School of Law expansion initiative.
Torres, a transfer student to the School of Law, developed a strong bond with her fellow students’ young children attending the school’s nursery. Nancy and her husband, Michael, recently pledged a gift over five years to support the law building expansion. In their honor, the new daycare center will be named the Nancy Coan Torres ’86 and Michael Torres Perfect Tender Co-op Room.
Nancy has also been a philanthropic leader, spearheading efforts to raise money for the Immigration Law Clinic where she worked as a student, recalling her experience as “one of the most meaningful things I’ve ever done.”
For more than 30 years, Bob ’63 and Kinzie ’64 Murphy have been giving to UC Davis, advancing initiatives such as Students First and the Center for the Arts campaign. They have also provided scholarships and unrestricted support through the UC Davis Annual Fund, which provides funds the chancellor can direct toward priorities universitywide.
“We both believe strongly in the value of a great education,” said Bob Murphy, who is a former UC Davis Foundation trustee. “We feel fortunate to be able to support UC Davis through scholarships as well as discretionary funds that can be used where the campus has the greatest need.”
Wayne Bartholomew ’64, J.D. ’71, and his wife, Jacque ’64, have been staunch supporters of the university for decades. Both have served on the UC Davis Foundation and Jacque was the Cal Aggie Alumni Association’s first female president. Through their philanthropy and volunteer efforts, the Bartholomews have backed initiatives ranging from medicine to athletics to the performing arts. Both are past recipients of the Cal Aggie Alumni Association’s Jerry W. Fielder Memorial Award, in recognition of their many contributions.
“UC Davis is unique in its commitment to diversity, to interdisciplinary research and to finding solutions to real world problems,” said Wayne. “By giving to UC Davis, alumni are helping to prepare students to face the critical issues of our day and to seek solutions to society’s most pressing problems.”
Support from the Broaddus and Murphy families and other dedicated donors has provided scholarship funds for students like Nicole San Jose ‘11, shown here holding her scholarship award certificate.
Students are often uppermost in the minds of UC Davis alumni donors. Alison ’88 and Andy ’87 Broaddus have given in many incremental ways over the years and recently made a five-year pledge to establish the Andrew and Alison Broaddus Family Scholarship. The pledge was enhanced by matching funds from Wells Fargo, where Andrew is a vice president.
“We wanted to give back to a place where we learned, grew and started our lives together,” Alison said. “We also wanted to show our kids the importance of education and giving back, especially by supporting scholarships.”
Helping students achieve their dreams has also been a priority for Sandra Reed, M.D. ’85. The former director of expeditionary medicine for the U.S. Navy, Reed has fulfilled her first goal of giving back as much as she had received in grants — and she found it so rewarding that she continues to give, particularly to the medical school’s scholarship fund. Reed has also included the university in her estate plan.
“When I was accepted into medical school at UC Davis and they made it possible for me financially, they granted the wish of a lifetime,” Reed said. “I want to help grant the same wish for others.”
As the first college graduate in his family, Arturo Gonzalez ’82 wanted to provide opportunities for needy students and honor his parents. His recent contribution established the Santiago and Gregoria Gonzalez Award for children of farmworkers or railroad laborers who are interested in law school or the legal profession.
“Getting an education at Davis was a stepping stone to Harvard Law School and a partnership in a large international law firm,” Gonzalez said. “None of it would have been possible without the doors opened for me at UC Davis.”
Ways to Give
Alumni have many ways to structure how they give back to
UC Davis. When Jacqueline Beckley ’72 recently made a pledge to support the Department of Food Science and Technology, she was able to double the gift with matching funds from Unilever Foods where her husband, Leslie Herzog, works.
Many alumni designate their gifts toward university programs or projects that align with their own philanthropic interests. Mike Child ’76 is the managing director for TA Associates, a company that invests in entrepreneurial pursuits. To encourage “the interrelationship of engineering and entrepreneurship” at UC Davis, Mike and his wife, Renée ’73, endowed two professorships in the College of Engineering — the Child Family Professorship and the Child Family Professorship of Engineering and Entrepreneurship.
“UC Davis is a great school,” Mike said. “If our alumni are able, they should give back.”
Pam Fair ’80, a UC Davis Foundation trustee and member of the engineering dean’s Executive Committee, has directed her giving toward the College of Engineering’s projects and goals for many years. She provided the initial contribution to establish the Alan Jackman Endowed Scholarship Fund, named in honor of the professor emeritus of chemical engineering and materials science.
After someone close to her was affected by cystic fibrosis, Fair widened her philanthropic efforts to include support for Jonathan Widdicombe, a UC Davis professor who studies airway functions related to the disease.
“It’s great to be able to look for a funding opportunity that matches my personal interests,” Fair said. “It feels good to know what the money is going toward and that it’s something special.”
Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef sees alumni contributions as especially significant to UC Davis.
“We are deeply grateful for alumni contributions,” said Vanderhoef. “We are honored and pleased that our alumni — who know the institution so well — value UC Davis’ unique quality and character, and want to help ensure the university’s continued quality far into the future. Their generosity and commitment are inspiring.”
Trina Wood is a Davis freelance writer.