Judith and Eldridge Moores

Judith and Eldridge Moores
Judith and Eldridge Moores

A planned gift from Eldridge and Judith Moores will support UC Davis geology students in conducting field work — an essential component to understanding the "big geological experiment" that is the Earth, as Eldridge describes it.

Eldridge Moores, a professor emeritus of geology, and his wife Judith Moores, are committed to geological education and have dedicated much of their lives to teaching and promoting the earth science. Making a bequest to foster geological education was another way to express their dedication.

"Field work is one of the most important aspects of geological education. It is critical in this field for students to see rocks in their original environment rather than in books or videos," said Eldridge, recipient of the first-ever Geological Association of Canada medal. "One thing that UC Davis' geology department has that's unique is that they try and maintain a strong presence in field research and we want to support that."

The Moores said including UC Davis in their will was a very simple process.

"It's a way for us to express gratitude to UC Davis for my satisfying career and for the relationship we've had with the university over the years — and, at the same time, maintain flexibility over our finances," said Eldridge.

Not only is a bequest easy to establish, it often allows donors to make larger philanthropic gifts than they previously thought possible, according to Richard Vorpe, executive director of planned giving.

"A large portion of the university's endowments — that is, gifts that provide support in perpetuity — were established through bequests," Vorpe said.

The Moores have joined the other 245 members of the prestigious Peter J. and Carolee W. Shields Society — an organization that recognizes generous donors who have made planned gifts to UC Davis. Planned gifts include will and living trust provisions, life income gift arrangements, such as charitable remainder trusts, charitable gift annuities or pooled income funds, and designations of UC Davis as a beneficiary of a retirement plan or life insurance policy.

The Moores said they were motivated to include a gift to UC Davis in their will because they believe in the university's land-grant mission.

"We both believe strongly in the ideals of state supported, land-grant universities," said Judith, a volunteer activist. "Unfortunately, public support of state universities has diminished over the years and, likely, will continue to diminish. For that reason, it is incumbent that all of us who can support the university do so in any way we can."

"In addition," said Eldridge, "UC Davis has been good to me. I think it's important for those of us who have had rewarding careers to give back — so that young people have similar opportunities."

And with the launch of The Campaign for UC Davis, this is a great time for friends of UC Davis to add the university to their wills, said Cheryl Brown Lohsé, associate vice chancellor for development.

"Charitable bequests help create a bright future for UC Davis," Lohsé said.