For Gerry and Carol Parker, it’s all about connections.
Their connection with UC Davis began when their eldest daughter attended UC Davis—first as a microbiology major and then an MBA student. As the Parkers became more involved with and learned about UC Davis, the more they wanted to contribute and make a difference.
“We love the university for being so terrific to her, and that’s how the relationship got started,” said Carol.
Even though it has been many years since their daughter graduated, the Parkers have remained connected to UC Davis through their generous support of the university’s various departments and programs.
As active members of the Lake Tahoe community, the Parkers were introduced to UC Davis through alumnus, philanthropist, and conservationist, Charles Soderquist, who was spearheading a campaign for the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center at the time. Fascinated by the great work that the center was doing, the Parkers quickly became patrons of that facility.
Carol, a well-known proponent of the arts, has been a tremendous supporter of the new Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at UC Davis. The Parkers made a gift during The Campaign for UC Davis that they hope will enrich the university’s art department.
In addition to their financial support, the Parkers also give richly of their time. Although they lived in San Jose, Calif. at the time, Gerry and Carol both served on the UC Davis Foundation Board at different times and varying capacities helping UC Davis become more connected throughout California.
The Parkers, who have been retired for more than 10 years, have pledged to “actually retire now” and have settled down on their newly purchased walnut orchard outside of Winters, California. They say they will continue to remain connected to UC Davis for years to come.