Why I Give: Bruce Edwards ’60
Former Aggie football player has a passion for athletics.
Alumnus and UC Davis supporter Bruce Edwards ’60
(Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)
Interview by Angela Hokanson
Bruce Edwards ’60 is a retired businessman from the San Francisco Bay Area who played football and ran track for UC Davis. In 2011, he and his wife, Diane, made a $2 million commitment to Intercollegiate Athletics — the single largest philanthropic contribution to athletics in the university’s history — to support Aggie Stadium’s future maintenance, operations and enhancements. Bruce is a member of the Intercollegiate Athletics Director’s Leadership Council and the Campaign Cabinet, as well as vice chair of the UC Davis Foundation Board of Trustees. He is also a member of the TEAMAGGIE Athletics Fund, Davis Chancellor’s Club, the Herbert A. Young Society and the Cal Aggie Alumni Association.
You are a committed supporter of Intercollegiate Athletics. What motivates you to give to this program?
One, when I came to UC Davis, I played football and it was one of the most gratifying experiences of my college education. Two, I have loved sports all my life. I retired in 2000 and my college roommate invited me to a UC Davis football game around that time — which piqued my interest in attending more games. Finally, I have always believed in philanthropy. Put the three together and that is the genesis of why I give to the Intercollegiate Athletics program.
You have generously supported Aggie Stadium. What is the role of the stadium in the life of UC Davis?
The new stadium is one of the hallmarks of the university. Where else can 10,000 fans meet on Saturday and socialize before attending a football game — with all the excitement, the band, students, alumni, faculty, parents and friends all cheering for their team to win? The university made a commitment to transition from Division II to Division I several years ago and we needed a new football stadium; giving to help make the stadium possible really appealed to me.
You also give to the College of Letters and Science and the UC Davis Annual Fund, and you have endowed an award for undergraduates. Why are these areas of such great interest to you?
Education is so important for our young people. I give to Letters and Science because that was the college I was in as an undergraduate. The Annual Fund is for unrestricted giving, and it is important that the university have access to flexible monies to use for important projects. Scholarships are more important today than any time in the history of the university. Tuition has been going up so regularly, to the point that it is going to be difficult for some students to afford a UC education. There are so many deserving students attending UC Davis who struggle with the cost of an education because their families are unable to afford the tuition. After athletics, this is the No. 1 area I want to support.
Why is The Campaign for UC Davis such an important initiative?
With the state’s share of the UC Davis budget falling, and student tuition and fees rising to help make up some of the difference, the university needs philanthropy now more than ever. The campaign is a way to get alumni, businesses, faculty, parents, students and friends involved in giving to the university, to keep UC Davis at a high level of accomplishment and distinction.
To alumni and other friends of the university, I’d like to say: UC Davis has something for everyone. Find your passion and give back. You can make a difference. And, it will make you feel good.
Angela Hokanson is a contributing writer for UC Davis Magazine.
This article was originally published in UC Davis Magazine.