Why I Give: Mark Friedman
Sacramento business leader Mark Friedman discusses the importance of giving to UC Davis.
Mark Friedman, a UC Davis supporter and the president of Fulcrum Property, among his art collection in his midtown Sacramento office.
(Karin Higgins/UC Davis)
Interview by Angela Hokanson
Mark Friedman is a Sacramento business leader and a dedicated UC Davis donor and volunteer. He is a member of the School of Education’s Board of Advisors and has served on the board of trustees of the UC Davis Foundation. Friedman is a member of the Campaign Cabinet, a group of volunteer leaders who are providing guidance to the university during The Campaign for UC Davis. He and his wife Marjorie Solomon Friedman — a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences — give to the Health System, the School of Education and the Arboretum, among other areas of the university.
Why do you choose to support the university through your philanthropic gifts and your volunteerism?
The answer is simple: UC Davis presents the greatest hope and the greatest power to make our region more interesting, more exciting and more prosperous. When I look around the country at other communities that took great leaps forward, that found a way to reach a higher trajectory, it has often been the intellectual property of the university that generated new prosperity. Think of the computer industry and Silicon Valley, or the development along Route 128 in Boston. Think of the research triangle in Raleigh-Durham or the Mission Bay development in San Francisco. In each case it was the power of the ideas and creativity generated on campus that moved the region forward.
How would you describe UC Davis’ potential and its current impact around the world?
Not only is UC Davis ready to take its place in the ranks of the great research institutions in the world — it already has. Last year, UC Davis generated more than $678 million dollars in external research funding. That ranks UC Davis in the top 10 of all research universities in the world. UC Davis is a world leader in finding new ways to grow crops without harming the environment, in developing alternative sources of energy and in charting how disease can transmit across species. This campus is leading the way in exploring the causes and cures of autism and pioneering new, more efficient ways to light and heat our homes. I could go on — and perhaps I should — because I think we often overlook the jewel that is in our midst. There is an inherent modesty about this campus that is appealing in an age of hyperbole. But there are also moments where it is appropriate to recognize one’s true accomplishments. The University of California is the greatest public research institution in the world. And within that system, UC Davis leads the way in addressing some of the most important issues facing the planet.
Why are you a supporter of The Campaign for UC Davis?
I cannot think of any investment in our future that is more worthwhile than supporting the mission of this university through The Campaign for UC Davis. Whether your passion is for the arts or medicine, for the humanities or agriculture, for viticulture or neuroscience, UC Davis has a program that is worthy of your support. I urge you to join us in this great endeavor.
Angela Hokanson is development and campaign communications manager.
This article was originally published in UC Davis Magazine.