A new classroom and recital hall building will be named the Ann E. Pitzer Center to honor the alumna who donated $5 million toward the building. Pitzer, a well-known California philanthropist, graduated from UC Davis in 1958 with a degree in home economics and was a longtime and active supporter of the university. She died in October 2014.
“Ann was a tremendous alumna and friend of UC Davis who always said her motivation for giving to UC Davis was to ensure our students would have the same great experience at UC Davis that she had,” Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said. “This building, which will provide important classroom space to all UC Davis students, is a shining example of Ann’s lasting legacy, her commitment to her alma mater and to all Aggie students, and her love of music.”
The Ann E. Pitzer Center is scheduled to open in early 2016 and will include a recital hall, classrooms and practice rooms. The gift from Pitzer will allow for the construction of practice rooms and facility enhancements and support.
A former member of the UC Davis Foundation Board of Trustees, Pitzer has a long history of giving to her alma mater. She created the Ann E. Pitzer scholarship and donated $1 million to the UC Davis Education Abroad Center to create a study abroad award endowment. This challenge gift in turn has inspired other donors to give $475,000 to date to support UC Davis students in studying abroad. Additionally, along with fellow UC Davis classmates, Pitzer established the Class of ’58 Scholarship, an endowed fund supported through gifts from the class of 1958. She was a 2013 recipient of the Cal Aggie Alumni Association's Aggie Service Award, which honors a UC Davis graduate who has demonstrated pride and dedication to the university through sustained volunteerism and leadership.
“I wanted to give back because going to UC Davis made a big, positive difference in my life,” Pitzer said in a 2013 interview. “The breadth of knowledge I received and the self-confidence I gained at UC Davis served me well in a number of career changes in my life.”
“Ms. Pitzer’s gift will provide beautiful and functional spaces for the entire gamut of music students’ activities—from lonely hours in the practice rooms, through rehearsals and coaching in the studios, to breathtaking performances on first-rate instruments in an acoustically superb recital hall,” said Henry Spiller, associate professor and chair of the Department of Music.
— Jeffrey Day, content strategist in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science