Father and Son Team up for $1.4 Million Gift to UC Davis

Editor's note: On Tuesday, April 21, there will be a 1:30 p.m. geology presentation and 3:30 p.m. athletics presentation. Rand Schaal, University of California, Davis, alumnus, geology instructor and former Aggie swimmer, and his father, Ted Schaal, have made a joint gift of $1.4 million to the campus. The Schaals divided their gift between UC Davis Athletics and the Department of Geology, with $1 million designated to fund an Olympic-sized swimming pool -- the largest donation in the history of UC Davis Athletics, according to Greg Warzecka, director of athletics -- and $400,000 to assist the geology department in funding either a new teaching and research facility or expansion of the existing Physics/Geology Building. With this gift, Rand has surpassed even himself and his impressive giving history. In 1996, Rand issued a challenge to UC Davis alumni, agreeing to match every gift up to $5,000 to the Alumni Aquatics Fund. He also made a bequest of the majority of his estate to UC Davis, split between aquatics and geology, and raised $10,000 by challenging geology alumni and matching their gifts. Both Rand and Ted are looking forward to seeing the immediate effects of this most recent gift to the campus. "I love Davis," says Rand. "It is an all-American college town with a world-class university. Davis is the home of All-American and Olympian swimmers and water polo players, but the campus facilities, built in the 1930s, are obsolete. It is high time that UC Davis has a state-of-the-art pool for racing and water polo. "Likewise, the Department of Geology has prospered and grown in the 27 years since moving into its present building, but allotted space has remained the same. I hope our gift will expedite expansion or construction of another building." Although the proposed aquatics project has not yet gone through the campus planning process, preliminary sites are being discussed. The future facility will be known as the "Schaal Aquatics Center" with the pool built for both competition swimming and water polo requirements. "The gift represents a significant leadership effort on the part of Ted and Rand Schaal and will advance our dream of building a campus aquatics facility that we can all take great pride in," said athletics director Warzecka. Rand has a special interest UC Davis aquatics. Both father and son are former college swimmers. Ted Schaal attended the University of Wisconsin, where he was a member of the swimming, tennis and football teams. Rand Schaal began competing at age nine, earned numerous high-school swimming records, and was a member of the UC Davis 1972 swim team. He currently swims with the Davis Aquatic Masters, competing mainly in 2-mile open water races. Father and son similarities do not end there. Ted Schaal is a former airline pilot for Pan American and Overseas National Airlines. He still flies light planes today at age 75. Rand, 47, is also a pilot, specializing in aerial photography in order to enhance teaching geology at UC Davis. Both are also real estate investors. Rand's history with the geology department began when he was a student. He earned his bachelor of science degree in 1973, then his Ph.D. in 1991. Rand is the founder and president of the UC Davis Geology Department Alumni Association. He became a lecturer of geology and has taught more than 5,500 students since 1986. Known as "Moondude" by his students because of his former research on lunar rocks, Rand has taught courses on the solar system, earthquakes and other Earth hazards, and the geology of California during this academic year. "The Schaal family has been, and continues to be, ardent supporters of geology at UC Davis," said Jeff Mount, chair of the department. "Rand Schaal, our most active and appreciated alum, has been directly involved in our program by teaching courses, advising students, organizing field trips, and flying around in his plane taking pictures for us. The university and the Department of Geology have benefited immensely from Rand's support." "We salute the Schaal family for this significant gift," said Peter Rock, dean of the Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences.