Faculty and staff honored for stewardship

New awards from Development and Alumni Relations and the UC Davis Foundation stewardship committee recognize two professors, Roger Boulton and Mark Mannis, and a staff member, Zachary Frieders, for going the extra mile to engage and steward donors to the university, and, thereby, promote a culture of philanthropy at UC Davis.

The Faculty and Staff Stewardship Awards were given in three categories: faculty, staff and lifetime achievement. The award recipients were first honored at a meeting of the UC Davis Foundation Board on Nov. 4, and again two days later at the UC Davis Leadership Giving Society Evening of Gratitude.


Roger Boulton: Lifetime Achievement Award — Professor Boulton knows a thing or two about high-yielding vines. For 35 years, he’s been instrumental in leading the Department of Viticulture and Enology into its spot as one of the top winemaking programs in the world. Along the way, he’s been stewarding donor relationships, even before the Development and Alumni Relations office existed at UC Davis.

He meets face to face with hundreds of donors each year, answers countless more email and phone calls regardless of his busy schedule; and makes himself available to his alumni student winemakers, providing pro-bono consultation to solve their technical problems in the winery and vineyard.

His passion for teaching and research, coupled with his quest to share this with students and industry, has resulted in millions of dollars in gifts to the university, including a $3 million gift from the Jackson Family Foundation to raise the Department of Viticulture and Enology to “Beyond Platinum” in LEED certification and thereby establishing industry standards in sustainability and conservation.

Turns out, Boulton is a high-yielding vine all by himself, as a superb researcher, stellar educator and passionate champion of UC Davis.


Mark J. Mannis: Faculty Stewardship Award — Professor Mannis is a man of vision: literally, as an award-winning ophthalmologist and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Science; and figuratively, as a sensitive and perceptive leader who has set the bar high for stewardship at UC Davis.

His commitment to patient-centric care has helped dozens of people regain their quality of life and also forged lasting and important relationships for the UC Davis Eye Center, the UC Davis Health System and UC Davis overall.

In particular, he has developed a special relationship with grateful glaucoma patient Ernest Tschannen. This relationship extends far beyond doctor-patient, to hikes and nights out at the theater, and special deliveries of kale chips, made by Mannis’ wife, Judy.

Mannis has done a beautiful job in making Tschannen feel involved and cared for, as a patient and a donor. The results speak for themselves: Tschannen, who began as a $25 donor to UC Davis, has now donated more than $15 million to the Eye Center, making him the largest individual donor to the UC Davis Health System in its history.


Zachary Frieders: Staff Stewardship Award — Frieders is all about partnerships. In his role as director of Study Abroad within the Office of Global Affairs, he works to establish and UC Davis’ relationships with foreign universities, thereby boosting UC Davis’ stature as a global university.

He also cultivates and strengthens the university’s relationships with donors. For example, his professionalism and vision were essential in Ann Pitzer’s $1 million gift to build the Study Abroad endowment. Gifts like these play an important part in supporting UC Davis Study Abroad students and making foreign study a reality for more students.

Frieders also aims to enhance partnerships between Study Abroad students and alumni abroad — thereby strengthening the Aggie family internationally.

Yes, Frieders is all about partnerships — and UC Davis is thankful to have him as a partner.

Nominations are welcome for next year’s awards, to recognize other faculty and staff members whose extraordinary relationship-building practices are advancing the culture of philanthropy at UC Davis. Send nominations by email to Casey Becker, cschell@ucdavis.edu.

Consider a year-end gift to UC Davis.

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Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556, dljones@ucdavis.edu

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