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Philanthropy news

Muhlemans honored for volunteer leadership


Woman and man standing next to an adobe wall outside
Julianne and Douglas Muhleman received the Soderquist Award for their commitment to UC Davis.
Julianne and Douglas Muhleman courtesy photo

One California, One UC Davis

Healdsburg residents Douglas “Doug” ’77, M.S. ’79, and Julianne “Juli” Muhleman are the recipients of the 2015 Charles J. Soderquist Award from the UC Davis Foundation. The annual award is presented to individuals who demonstrate excellence in philanthropy, volunteerism, leadership and overall commitment to UC Davis.

“We would like to thank the university and the UC Davis Foundation for this honor,” said the Muhlemans, whose children both graduated from UC Davis. “It is truly heartening to be recognized in this way and was quite unexpected.”

Doug Muhleman is a graduate of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. After receiving both an undergraduate and graduate degree from UC Davis, he went on to have a successful career with Anheuser-Busch, becoming the youngest brewmaster in the company's history. He retired in 2008 as the group vice president of brewing operations and technology where he was responsible for 10,000 employees across five corporate groups, the company’s domestic and international breweries and its agricultural operations. He is now a vintner and an investor partner of Sudwerk Brewing Company in Davis.

Muhleman attributes much of his success to the education he received at UC Davis. During his time at Anheuser-Busch, Muhleman frequently recruited graduates from the UC Davis brewing program because “the UC Davis educated brewer came with a skill set and knowledge base that really wasn’t possible from another university," he said.

The couple reconnected with the university when Doug Muhleman was awarded the first young alumnus award from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in 1989. Since then the couple has committed both time and resources to support several areas of the college. In 2008, they made a gift to create the Michael J. Lewis Endowment for Brewing Science in honor of Muhleman’s teacher and mentor to support students in the university’s brewing science program. Additionally, they have funded scholarships and supported pollination ecology research helping the university build one of the nation’s most innovative programs dedicated to studying honeybees and their effect on agricultural production.

The Muhlemans also volunteer their time to help lead the university’s brewing education programs. They serve on the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science Board of Executives, and Doug Muhleman has also served as chair of the Leadership Board for the Department of Food Science and Technology, and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council.

In addition to their personal philanthropy, Doug Muhleman played an integral part in developing an important partnership between UC Davis and Anheuser-Busch, which resulted in a $5 million gift from the Anheuser-Busch Foundation to name the brewing and food science laboratory at UC Davis.

“We are and will remain committed to public education because we firmly believe that the strength of our state and our society in general will always be based on an educated populace,” said the Muhlemans. “Our support of UC Davis is grounded in this belief.”

About the Soderquist Award

The UC Davis Foundation Board of Trustees created the Soderquist Award in 2005 in honor of UC Davis alumnus, entrepreneur and philanthropist Charles Soderquist. It awards the recipients $5,000, which they donate to a university program or field of their choice. The Muhlemans have decided to give their prize money to the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center to support graduate students researching areas related to bee health, pollination science or general studies of native pollinators.

UC Davis is growing California

At UC Davis, we and our partners are nourishing our state with food, economic activity and better health, playing a key part in the state’s role as the top national agricultural producer for more than 50 years. UC Davis is participating in UC’s Global Food Initiative launched by UC President Janet Napolitano, harnessing the collective power of UC to help feed the world and steer it on the path to sustainability.

This article was originally published by UC Davis News Service.