Meet three of our UC Davis colleagues who engage donors through volunteer work and personal connections:
- Gibbe Parsons, a professor emeritus who gives donors a glimpse into the lives of medical students
- Judie Boehmer, a nurse who raises funds to save children’s lives
- Thomas Tomich, a professor who established a robust agricultural program by maintaining strong relationships with its supporters
They are the recipients of this year’s UC Davis Stewardship Awards, presented at a breakfast event Saturday (Oct. 19).
Sponsored by the Office of Development and Alumni Relations and the UC Davis Foundation, the awards recognize faculty and staff for their exceptional stewardship of donors, and helping build the culture of philanthropy across the university.
“This year’s winners are among the special few who go beyond their professions to make a lasting impact at UC Davis,” said Bruce West, chair of the foundation board. “Thanks to their efforts, we are able to grow and give back to the community as a whole.”
Lifetime achievement award
Gibbe Parsons — Like many emeriti, he continues to serve the university — in his case, as medical director of Managed Care and Continuing Medical Education for UC Davis Health. He is a selfless leader who is generous of his time, knowledge and resources, and an example to others on advancing the mission of UC Davis Health.
His relationship with the university began 48 years ago when he arrived as a young resident at what was then a modest hospital. Over the decades he helped it grow into one of the top medical centers in the nation.
With his long history and knowledge of the institution, coupled with his warm, friendly personality, he is the perfect person to lead behind-the-scenes tours of the medical school. Since his retirement seven years ago, he has hosted more than 100 donors in his “Medical Student for a Day” program, allowing them to see how their philanthropy has made an impact on UC Davis Health.
Not only does Parsons thank and connect donors, friends and colleagues regularly, he and his wife are donors to UC Davis, setting the bar high for how to build a culture of philanthropy.
Staff Stewardship Award
Judie Boehmer — As the executive director of Patient Care Services at UC Davis Children’s Hospital, Boehmer is responsible for the birthing suites, Women’s Pavilion, Adult Annex and Children’s Surgery Center, yet she continues to find time to steward donors.
She is a career nurse who instills confidence in donors and connects them to the mission of saving children’s lives and improving their overall health.
As local co-chair for the Children’s Miracle Network, Boehmer takes pride in being part of “miracle” fundraising — some $5 million annually from community and corporate partners — and “friendraising,” too. She participates in the network’s annual forum on best practices, telling stories of how children and families are changed by philanthropy.
Boehmer gives tours of the pediatric and neonatal intensive care units for donors who want an inside look at the hospital. She is the hospital spokesperson for the Credit Union for Kids SacTown Run and the California International Marathon, thanking sponsors and connecting them with the mission of the hospital.
From Boehmer’s experience working as a nurse, she understands the difference people make through their gifts of both time and financial support.
Faculty Stewardship Award
Thomas Tomich — He is the founding director of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute and inaugural holder of the W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Sustainable Food Systems. He teaches in the new sustainable agriculture and food systems major, and directs the statewide UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program.
He established relationships with the directors of the Gaia Fund and the Clarence E. Heller Foundation for support of the new major’s launch. For the past decade, he has maintained strong, regular communication with donors to ensure they remain engaged with the program.
Just like he received an award for stewardship, Tomich and the Agricultural Sustainability Institute each year present a tribute of their own: the Eric Bradford and Charlie Rominger Agricultural Sustainability Leadership Award. Tomich uses the nomination process and presentation event to bring recognition to the award’s namesakes and their families.
Tomich’s leadership and stewardship go hand in hand, leading to notable outcomes in the field of agricultural sustainability at UC Davis.