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Philanthropy news

UC Davis honors community members with awards


A philanthropic power couple dedicated to the arts, a physician working to reduce infant mortality worldwide, and a veterinarian skilled in rehabilitating animals following oil spills around the globe are among this year’s UC Davis Cal Aggie Alumni Association award winners. They will be honored alongside a number of other outstanding individuals at the 43rd CAAA Awards Gala at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, at the Presidio Golden Gate Club.

This year’s honorees are:

  • Mary Horton ’63, M.A ’66, of Davis, California
  • James Barrall ’72 of Santa Monica, California
  • Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem of San Francisco and Napa Valley, California
  • Douglas Gross, M.D. ’90, of Davis, California
  • Michael Ziccardi, D.V.M. ’93, M.P.V.M. ’93, Ph.D. ’01, of Davis, California
  • Alecia Farsight ’08 of Davis, California
  • Bruce West ’71, M.S. ’73, of El Macero, California

Mary Horton: Aggie Service Award

After earning her degrees in animal sciences at UC Davis, Horton served 38 years as a staff researcher in the animal science department. An active and loyal volunteer, philanthropist and sponsor of the arts, she lobbied for additional state funding for the university, endowed scholarships, helped found the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Art’s Young Artist competition and served on countless scholarship committees.

James Barrall: Distinguished Achievement Award

James Barrall is one of the country’s leading tax attorneys, with more than 30 years of experience specializing in employee benefits and executive compensation. In 2012 he created  the Barrall Family Philosophy Scholarship, which was the UC Davis philosophy department’s first endowed fund. He is active on UCLA Law School’s board of advisers and works with the Inner City Law Center — a nonprofit that provides legal services to the underserved.

Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem: Distinguished Friends of the University Award

The Shrems have avidly supported many philanthropic and performing arts organizations around the globe. They provided UC Davis with a transformational gift of $10 million to name the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, which will open during the 2016-2017 academic year. They also provide funds for full scholarships for four students to attend the Royal Drawing School program in London in fall 2015. With their support, UC Davis can properly recognize and honor its world-renowned artistic legacy.

Douglas Gross: Emil M. Mrak International Award

Physician Douglas Gross has distinguished himself as a global health leader in the U.S. and abroad. He has more than 35 years of experience teaching medical and undergraduate students at UC Davis and is involved in numerous global health initiatives including leading medical teams to Central America and Africa to provide care in remote villages, working with the World Health Organization to implement a worldwide program to reduce infant and child mortality, and directing a project within the University of California Haiti Initiative to improve pediatric care.

Michael Ziccardi: Outstanding Alumnus

Michael Ziccardi, Director of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network, is globally recognized as one of the leading experts in the care of oiled wildlife, with more than 20 years of leadership in the recovery and rehabilitation of birds and mammals following damaging oil spills around the globe. He is also co-director of the UC Davis Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center, Health Science Clinical Professor at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, and is a member of the UC Davis International Animal Welfare Training Institute.

Alecia Farsight: Young Alumna

Alecia Farsight organizes and leads teams of doctors, nurses and pharmacists on medical mission trips to remote areas in Uganda, Africa, to provide health assessments, testing and counseling for  patients with HIV, sexually transmitted infections and malaria. To date, they have provided care to more than 5,000 individuals. Farsight also has a great impact on her local community through her current work as a labor and delivery nurse at UC Davis Medical Center.

Bruce West: Jerry W. Fielder Award

Bruce West is co-founder of West Yost Associates, which is known as the go-to engineering firm for wastewater and stormwater projects throughout California and Oregon. West has been an active member of the UC Davis College of Engineering’s Dean’s Executive Committee, a member of the Cal Aggie Engineering Alumni Association Board and CAAA board, and an Aggie Advocate. He and his wife, Marie, have provided generous gifts for renovating student facilities on the UC Davis campus.

For more information and to purchase tickets or a table, please contact Jen Thayer at or (530) 754-9098, or visit

About the Cal Aggie Alumni Association

With more than 32,000 members and 58 alumni networks around the world, the Cal Aggie Alumni Association creates ambassadors for UC Davis and enriches the lives of more than 240,000 alumni, students and friends worldwide.

This article was originally published by UC Davis News Service.