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UC Davis Magazine

Volume 26 · Number 4 · Summer 2009

Rosalie Vanderhoef: Arts Ambassador

Rosalie Vanderhoef

The people — that’s what Rosalie Vanderhoef will miss most when she and her husband, Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef, step down from their respective roles Aug. 17. “Even though we’re still staying here, my relationship with people will change,” Rosalie says. “That’s the part I feel the saddest about.”

Among her greatest joys over the years:

  • Welcoming thousands of people to the Chancellor’s Residence, and realizing how honored those guests feel to be invited. “Many go home with the menu card, or don’t want to give up their name tags.”
  • Hosting community women leaders’ luncheons featuring UC Davis women faculty and administrators as speakers. “It’s been a wonderful way to get people involved with the university and to feel pride in everything that’s happening here.”
  • The luncheon when Robert and Margrit Mondavi pledged $35 million for a wine and food science institute and to name the performing arts center. “I was thrilled to death, and felt there couldn’t be a more perfect match — and they thanked us for giving them the opportunity!”
  • Perhaps Rosalie’s greatest passion — and legacy — is arts education. A former elementary school teacher, she opened hearts and pocketbooks by describing what a difference a performing arts center would make in the lives of regional schoolchildren. Today more than 40,000 students annually attend Mondavi Center performances, and several of their teachers have been trained at the Globe Theatre in London through a program she helped initiate. She’s filled virtually every Friends of the Mondavi Center role, serving as president, vice president and K-12 education chair, organizing pre-performance lectures, scheduling and training ushers and docents, and visiting K-12 classrooms to prepare students for matinee performances.

While she’ll enjoy “not having a schedule that really directs your whole life,” she’ll continue to volunteer for the Mondavi Center and attend performances, sit in the stands at football and basketball games, and regularly walk the west loop of the arboretum with book group friends.

“It’s been a great ride,” she said. “We’ll remain engaged and become ambassadors for UC Davis. We really love this campus and continue to want the best for it.”

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