The American Leadership Forum’s Mountain Valley Chapter recently honored Larry Vanderhoef, chancellor emeritus of UC Davis, as an “exemplary leader.”
The chapter presented two such awards at a Nov. 6 dinner, to Vanderhoef and Brice Harris, chancellor of California Community Colleges and former chancellor of the Los Rios Community College District.
Vanderhoef, a senior fellow in the American Leadership Forum, stepped down in 2009 after 15 years as chancellor — one of the longest stretches for any university leader in the nation. He was UCD’s provost and executive vice chancellor for 10 years before becoming chancellor.
“Larry is a quiet, introspective person, but he was always willing to do what must be done to lift UC Davis,” said alumnus Tom Stallard (bachelor’s degree, 1968, and law degree, 1975), who nominated Vanderhoef for the leadership award.
Stallard is a former president of the law school’s alumni association and a former member of the UCD Foundation board of trustees. He is vice mayor of Woodland, a former member of the Yolo County Board of Supervisors — and the recipient of the “exemplary leader” award himself in 2012.
“It was (Vanderhoef’s) leadership that got the Mondavi Center built, now a cultural icon of our region,” said Stallard, recalling Vanderhoef’s promise at his 1994 inauguration to build a performing arts center.
The Mondavi Center anchors the campus’ new front door: the south entry, where, during Vanderhoef’s tenure, the university also built the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, the UCD Conference Center and the Graduate School of Management.
Vanderhoef also presided over the development of several academic buildings, and, perhaps most dramatic of all, the transformation of the relatively small former county hospital in Sacramento into the prestigious UCD Medical Center.