This year’s Charles J. Soderquist Award winners Robert “Bob” ’63 and Kinzie ’64 Murphy believe that all qualified students deserve a chance at a world-class education.
Every year, the UC Davis Foundation gives the Soderquist Award to philanthropists who exhibit exceptional volunteerism and leadership in support of UC Davis’ mission. When Bob and Kinzie heard how the 2013 Soderquist Award winner had established a scholarship for former foster youth to pursue their teaching credentials at UC Davis, they were intrigued and decided to learn more.
“Learning about the incredible amount of resilience, perseverance, talent and potential these students had, despite their family history,” Bob said, “we wanted to make sure they weren’t held back by financial constraints.”
The grateful alumni couple, who have several fellow Aggies in their family, said they have a long-standing passion for supporting UC Davis students. Kinzie, a speech pathologist who has worked in Sacramento-area schools and currently teaches graduate students at California State University, Sacramento, especially cares about supporting the next generation of teachers. The couple established the Murphy Guardian Teachers Scholarship during The Campaign for UC Davis, in addition to their regular giving to the Annual Fund and to several scholarship funds.
In recognition of their generous support and Bob’s exceptional volunteerism in a wide array of roles—including UC regent, chair of the UC Davis Foundation Board of Trustees and president of the Cal Aggie Alumni Association, among many other leadership positions—the UC Davis Foundation named the couple the 2014 Soderquist Award recipients. Not surprisingly, the Murphys are donating their award money to start a new scholarship, The George And Adele Nickel Family Scholarship for Education in Production Agriculture, which will be fully endowed thanks to additional gifts from their family member Adele Nickel, the Nickel family and friends.
“As long time friends of Charley Soderquist, receiving this award named for him is a special honor,” says Kinzie, “and a way to continue his and our commitment to support the students and programs at UC Davis.”