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UC Davis Magazine

Volume 26 · Number 4 · Summer 2009

Photo: Davis Enterprise front page


Mondavi Triple Play

“The San Francisco Symphony spectacularly opened the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts on Oct. 3, 2002, to great fanfare. But the Mondavi Center’s first public event actually occurred the day before at the chancellor’s Fall Convocation. That day I had the surprise of my life. During the years leading up to the center’s opening, I served as the chancellor’s coordinator for this once-in-a-lifetime project. I sat with Rosalie near the front of Jackson Hall as we enjoyed this long-awaited moment with Larry. And then he did it. He brought my 16-year-old daughter, Andrea, out on stage — she walked out from the wings, set her violin on her shoulder, and began to play. The place was breath-holding quiet except for the music coming from her bow, and what I’m sure was the audible pounding in my chest. Larry had conspired with Andrea and my wife, Jenifer, to invent the surprise, and he clapped louder than anyone after her last, soaring note. People still come up to me and mention that day. I have come to see it as Larry pulling off the kind of triple play that he does every day — he gave a young person an extraordinary opportunity, he honored a staff person, and he created a phenomenal resource for our campus, our state and, literally, for people around the world.”

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