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The Campaign for UC Davis

Stories of inspired gifts … stories that inspire giving

Office of University Development

UC Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616-5270

(530) 754-4438 phone
(530) 754-2294 fax

Portrait of Dreams in the Making

Andrea Murphy Keaveney ’12 overcame obstacles in hopes of inspiring her daughter to dream.

Keaveney’s dream of getting a college education has been 12 years in the making — a dream made possible because of scholarship support.

When Keaveney was 18, her father died; three years later Keaveney’s mother was diagnosed with stage three cancer. Keaveney had to put her education on hold and work to support her family. It seemed that every time Keaveney tried to further her education some new obstacle would arise pushing her dream of a college degree further away. 

“I decided to go back to school when I realized that things were always going to happen and I decided I couldn’t let those things determine my life,” Keaveney said. “I also wanted to teach my young daughter that she could achieve her dreams if she worked hard.”

Keaveney earned her associate degree and then enrolled in the UC Davis Department of Design. And although the obstacles kept coming her way Keaveney remained enrolled and is graduating in 2012 – at age 30 – with a 3.89 GPA.

Keaveney said the moral support she received from the department of design and financial assistance of scholarships, including the Carol Lee Coss Memorial Scholarship, were vital to her staying enrolled.

“I was only able to do any of this because of someone else’s generosity. It’s kind of amazing to think that I was able to go to school because there were people out there who wanted to help people like me go to school,” said Keaveney whose next dream is to work as a graphic designer for a company that aims to inspire children through design. “Because of the support, I can pursue a job that will make me really happy and my daughter is going to know that. I hope my accomplishments will make it so she will never think to say ‘I can’t do that.’”