“A great college experience.” That is what Ann Pitzer said she received when she attended UC Davis in the late 1950s; and it’s what she hopes to support through her gifts to UC Davis.
“I wanted to give back because going to UC Davis made a big, positive difference in my life,” said Pitzer, who worked at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) for 23 years before retiring in 2000. “I wanted to support students because there always seems to be deserving students who could use some help. Plus, philanthropy and higher education were part of my upbringing, so it seemed like a natural thing to do.”
Pitzer’s grandfather was Russell K. Pitzer — a California citrus grower and Pomona Valley philanthropist who founded Pitzer College in 1963. Her father was Kenneth S. Pitzer — a renowned chemistry professor and Dean of the College of Chemistry at UC Berkeley and former president of Rice and Stanford universities.
As part of The Campaign for UC Davis, Ann Pitzer created an endowment to establish the Ann E. Pitzer Scholarship Fund, was the lead donor for the Class of ’58 Scholarship and personally gave $1 million to create study abroad scholarships so more UC Davis students will have the opportunity to add a global perspective to their academic careers.
“When I went to college at Davis, it gave me an opportunity to blossom on my own. I think that’s what a university experience should do for a student,” said Pitzer, who serves on the UC Davis Foundation Board. “It should give them the opportunity to discover their talents and to grow into them. I think UC Davis is a wonderful place for a student to do just that.”