Alex and Phyllis McCalla

Phyllis and Alex McCalla Arboretum Fund

Long-term supporters of UC Davis, Phyllis and Alex McCalla, have pledged an estate gift to create the “Phyllis and Alex McCalla Arboretum Fund” to support future projects and improvements in the Arboretum and Public Garden. 

Both Phyllis and Alex have ties with UC Davis that go back to 1966 when Alex began teaching as an assistant professor of agriculture economics at UC Davis, eventually becoming dean for the College of Agriculture from 1970 to 1975. In 1979 he acted as founding dean of the Graduate School of Management at UC Davis for a couple years, continuing to work for the university until his retirement in 1994. Phyllis, also employed as staff at UC Davis, served as chair of the UC Davis Retiree Association and chair of the International House Davis Board of Directors. Their involvement in and contributions to the university inspired them to give back to UC Davis.  

“I remember when the Arboretum was just the Redwood Grove and a dried up creek bed!” recalls Alex. “It has improved so much since then, and it has been a joy seeing it grow into a beautiful place where both Phyllis and I have enjoyed taking walks and attending small events.”  

During their time at Davis, both Alex and Phyllis became friends with Superintendent Emeritus Warren Roberts, and witnessed many special projects headed by the Arboretum and Public Garden like the Hummingbird GATEway Garden. An avid gardener, Phyllis, also welcomes advice from Arboretum and Public Garden experts.

Seeing the sustainable work the organization does for the environment and recognizing how valuable and beloved it is to the campus and community led to their generous support and desire to create their fund to help the Arboretum and Public Garden grow into the future.  

“The Arboretum has so much to offer to the environment and community,” said Phyllis. “We hope that our gift will help the Arboretum continue to flourish.”  

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