The UC Davis Foundation Board of Trustees has chosen Bob and Kinzie Murphy of Sacramento as the winners of the Charles J. Soderquist Award, the board’s top honor for volunteer leadership and philanthropic support.
“Bob and Kinzie have continually been among the most dedicated campus citizens, always championing the university among the greater UC Davis community and beyond,” said Shaun Keister, vice chancellor of development and alumni relations and president of the foundation board, in a news release.
“With integrity, grace, humor and compassion, they have been remarkably consistent and ardent advocates for the university for more than four decades. We are very fortunate to have these tireless and dedicated Aggies.”
Bob Murphy, a 1963 UCD graduate and former UC regent, has served as an attorney-of-counsel for Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard Law Corp. Kinzie Murphy, a 1964 UCD grad, is a speech pathologist with a private practice and a lecturer and clinical instructor in Sacramento State University’s department of speech pathology and audiology.
“We are both so honored by this recognition,” Bob Murphy said. “We credit UC Davis with our professional success and are proud to have family members who are fellow Aggies.”
The Soderquist Award comes with a $5,000 prize that recipients may give to the university program of their choice. The Murphys will use their prize to create the George and Adele Nickel Family Scholarship for Education in Production Agriculture for undergraduate students in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
The choice grew out of the couple’s interest in sustainable food systems: Kinzie Murphy’s family has farmed in the San Joaquin Valley for six generations, while Bob Murphy’s expertise is in land use and urban development.
Named for Kinzie Murphy’s mother and for her stepfather, a rancher and land and water developer, the scholarship will be fully endowed at $30,000, thanks to additional gifts from Adele Nickel of Bakersfield, the Nickel family and friends.
The Murphys have supported scholarships through the UC Davis Cal Aggie Alumni Association since 1985. They endowed their own scholarship in 1999.
They also recently created the Murphy Guardian Teachers Scholarship in the School of Education, a scholarship to support former foster youths working to become teachers. They were inspired to do so by last year’s Soderquist Award winner, Sandi Redenbach, who donated her award winnings to support the Guardian Teachers Scholarship program.
Bob Murphy’s law firm has also created a scholarship within the program, matching the donation made by him and his wife.
Class and student body president as an undergraduate, Bob Murphy has gone on to serve as president of the alumni association, chair of the foundation board, chair of the Buehler Alumni Center capital campaign and chair of the Davis Chancellor’s Club. He has also served on the Center for the Arts Campaign steering committee and the UC Davis Medical Center leadership council.
The Soderquist Award was named in honor of the late Charles “Charley” Soderquist, a UCD alumnus, former chair of the foundation and Davis and Sacramento-area entrepreneur and philanthropist. It goes to supporters whose efforts as volunteers have made a significant and lasting impact on the university.
“As longtime friends of Charley, receiving this award named for him is a special honor,” Kinzie Murphy said. “It’s a way to continue his and our commitment to support the students and programs at UC Davis.”