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UC Davis Magazine

Volume 26 · Number 4 · Summer 2009

Vanderhoef: What Others Say

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. More . . .


“Although he bears only the title of provost, we have a proven leader in Larry Vanderhoef. Faced with the need for deep budget cuts, Vanderhoef managed to make the necessary Phase III cuts without breaking the spirit of faculty and students. Vanderhoef has kept in touch with students through the brown-bag lunch program and budget briefings…. Over the years, UCD has developed its own character and personality. It’s time to recapture that sense of direction and purpose through a leader like Vanderhoef.”

“Chancellor Vanderhoef’s service to the hundreds of thousands of students who have passed through the university’s doors during his term as chancellor has forever endeared him into the heart and soul of this campus… For his leadership we thank him, for his devotion we appreciate him, and for his accomplishments we are forever grateful.”

“His vision for crossing boundaries, his courage for building bridges…. He’s taught me through dialogue and relationships we can overcome our differences. With his vision, we can turn nations into people. I’m really proud to be his friend.”

“I have great admiration for the chancellor. In fact, I vetoed his decision to step down! I speak from the heart in expressing how much I admire him professionally and for his human understanding. I greatly value my friendship with him and Rosalie and have wonderful remembrances of our association. I wish him well, and hope that the change that lies ahead will be interesting and challenging — all those things we want when we are taking a new step.”

“When I first met Larry Vanderhoef I was serving as mayor of Davis and I knew instantly and with complete certainty that the irresistible force had just met the immovable object. The trouble was I didn’t know which was which.”

“I vividly remember the day I met Larry, Picnic Day 1989. As a first-year coach, I surmised that he must be an alumnus and proceeded to tell him what an exceptional institution I thought UC Davis was and how much I enjoyed recruiting student-athletes to such an outstanding university. Larry listened attentively as I rambled on, never mentioning he was the provost. And, thankfully, he graciously forgave me for not knowing who he was. I am ever so grateful for the wonderful relationship we developed, founded on our mutual love for UC Davis and our enjoyment of the game of basketball.”

“He’s a person I’ve grown to know and love over the past few years. We are good friends, and I will miss him very much.”

“In his more than two decades at UC Davis, Larry Vanderhoef has benefited the campus greatly because of his vision, his honesty, his transparency and his hard work. UC Davis is a much better university than it ever had been before, due in no small part to his leadership. He is the best chancellor I have seen in my 40 years at Davis.”

“It has been a pleasure to teach at UC Davis under the administrative direction of Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef. Because of his efforts, UC Davis has become a more interesting, rich and exciting place to work, teach and enjoy.”

“Vanderhoef leaves a legacy of excellence at a university that will greatly miss his leadership…[He] has earned the respect and admiration of campus and community alike. No one in a position like his could be universally liked. But even Vanderhoef’s critics have respect for this quiet mentor who led by example, forged decisions by consensus, nurtured the top-notch talent around him and never shied away from tough issues.”

“When Chancellor Vanderhoef was the Medical Center’s governing body, he made it a priority to spend the evening in our busy Emergency Department, understanding the issues of emergency room crowding and ambulance diversion. I always appreciated that he asked questions and never tried to bluff his way through complex medical issues. He is a humble servant leader who demonstrates compassion and consideration for others.”

“Chancellor Vanderhoef has always given us tremendous support for outreach work. Much of what we have accomplished in telemedicine is in large part due to his encouragement and leadership. He has created a culture at UC Davis that inspires all of us to be creative about using our expertise to improve the lives of the people of California and the world.”

“Chancellor Vanderhoef has demonstrated a strong commitment and love for UC Davis by his years of service to the campus. Our relationship was warm, engaging and mutually respectful. I found him to be easily accessible and open to discussing issues important to students.”

“The years under his leadership will go down in history as the golden years of UC Davis, a transformative era that raised the bar of the UC Davis brand internationally.”

“I appreciate many things that Chancellor Vanderhoef has done for this campus but I especially respect his advocacy for the arts as represented in the visionary realization of the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts. The opening of the Mondavi Center raised the level of the arts on this campus and in the whole region. As well, he regularly attends the many performances of the Theatre and Dance, Music and Art departments. I have appreciated Chancellor Vanderhoef’s support of my work and all the arts!”

“It has been my privilege and honor to serve as Chancellor Vanderhoef’s executive assistant for the past 18½ years. His dedication and love for the UC Davis campus continue to inspire me. He works very long hours, often seven days a week and has NEVER called in sick. (I know this because we’ve been running an unofficial perfect-attendance contest all this time and neither of us has given in yet!)”

“When Larry arrived at UC Davis…he brought with him a commitment to not only guide UC Davis to the top tier of national universities but to ensure that the university was engaged with its broader community. . . . UC Davis has clearly flourished under Larry’s leadership and consequently has contributed substantially to the state’s and the region’s prosperity.”

“Chancellor Vanderhoef has taken UC Davis to a whole new level under his leadership. Over the years, what I have respected most, however, is Larry’s character and integrity. He is honest, well intentioned, caring, thoughtful, humble and genuine. This is a rare set of characteristics in a leader at his level, particularly in today’s world. You don’t have to agree with everything he does or says, but you can always trust him to be truthful and to do the right thing.”

“Chancellor Vanderhoef has served both UC Davis and the UC system as a whole with great distinction. During his long period of leadership, Davis has grown enormously in academic strength and in size. It has substantially broadened the scope of its academic programs, while retaining its highly valuable, distinctive nature. Much credit for those advances rests directly with Larry Vanderhoef. He has also been a superb citizen of the UC system, wise, measured, supportive and decisive.”

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