Unchained Melody

Bill and Sharon Dianne Hollingshead
Bill and Sharon Dianne Hollingshead

Bill and Sharon Dianne Hollingshead believe good things are worth the wait.

Nearly 50 years after their first date, the high school sweethearts finally married in 2004. While the pursuit of their separate goals prevented them from crossing paths on campus, they both loved their Aggie experiences and credit their education for making their dream careers come true.

Sharon Dianne Fritter Hollingshead ’63 Cred. ’63 enjoyed an international career in computing—an unlikely path for a woman who graduated before UC Davis even offered a computer science major. One special mentor, Dr. William Dukes, recognized Sharon Dianne’s mathematical gifts and inspired her to become a trailblazer in the then-emerging field: “He opened a whole new world for me. All of my experiences at UC Davis gave me a lot of confidence in myself and my own abilities.”

“Music was the cornerstone of all my activities at Davis,” shares Bill ’60, who owns a talent agency. To honor his passion for music, the long-time Annual Fund donors made their first major gift during The Campaign for UC Davis to the future Music Classroom and Recital Hall.

“I was able to work to put myself through school, because most of UC’s budget came from the state—but that’s not the reality now,” explains Sharon Dianne. “Regardless of what you contribute to, giving is about supporting students. And your gift helps make others aware of the new reality.”

The couple has relished reconnecting with the campus community as much as with each other. Avid participants in Pajamarino, Back to School Weekend and Aggie Diner, their motto is “Aggies Forever!” Sharon Dianne encourages students, especially women, to “pursue whatever career you feel really passionate about, and don’t be intimidated.”

You can read more about Sharon Dianne’s remarkable journey in computer science soon in the upcoming in the Summer 2014 Issue of UC Davis Magazine.

Watch a video about Bill’s involvement with Cal Aggie Band and his music career.