Center Bathed in Purple in Memorial Tribute

Lights, Concert Honor Mondavi Patron Barbara Jackson

Purple lights at night on Mondavi Center's south wall
In tribute: Barbara K. Jackson’s favorite color on the Mondavi Center’s south wall, nightly through Oct. 4. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

Quick Summary

  • Her philanthropy played a significant role in development of performing arts center
  • Barbara K. Jackson Rising Stars of Opera: A celebration of her life in music, set for Oct. 4
  • She was 99 when she died; concert date would have been her 100th birthday

The Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts released this statement today (Sept. 18) on the passing of Barbara K. Jackson, including information about a forthcoming tribute.


Barbara K. Jackson, a founding philanthropist of the Mondavi Center, passed away Sept. 7, only a few weeks short of her 100th birthday. Along with Larry and Rosalie Vanderhoef and Robert and Margrit Mondavi, Barbara Jackson helped give life to the dream of a performing arts center on the UC Davis campus — a dream first described by Chancellor Vanderhoef at his inaugural convocation. Her generous gift to name the center’s largest performance space as Barbara K. and W. Turrentine Jackson Hall played a significant role in launching this great performing arts center.

In addition, Barbara’s philanthropy reached out to support other disciplines at UC Davis (the music and history departments); other arts organizations in Sacramento; and young opera artists through the Adler and Merola programs at the San Francisco Opera.

Barbara K. Jackson stands amid the seats of Jackson Hall.
Barbara K. Jackson in Barbara K. and W. Turrentine Jackson Hall.

To honor her legacy, we are dedicating the annual Barbara K. Jackson Rising Stars of Opera concert to a celebration of Barbara’s life in music. That concert, 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, in Jackson Hall, takes place on the centennial of Barbara’s birth.

Seven past and current Adler Fellows — participants in a program she supported — are coming from around the nation to sing in her honor. They will be singing arias and duets from many of the greatest opera composers, accompanied by pianist Mark Morash of the San Francisco Opera Center on the first half, and by the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Professor Christian Baldini, on the second half.

We believe that there could no better way to memorialize Barbara’s life and good works than with the beautiful music and the wonderful singers she loved so much.

Barbara’s generous sponsorship has allowed our Rising Stars concert to be free to the public. Tickets to attend are available at or by calling 530‐754‐2787.

Until Oct. 4, we can remember Barbara and her legacy every evening as the Mondavi Center’s south wall is lit in purple, a color all of us who knew Barbara associated with her. These beautiful lights keep us mindful of someone who indeed lived a beautiful life of generosity and music.

Read Barbara K. Jackson’s obituary: “A Lifelong Passion for the Arts.”

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