DeWayne Quinn and David Camboia (’92) met playing defense for the Aggie football team more than 25 years ago.
“We became even better friends after college,” Quinn said. “We both liked to snowboard and began traveling to different places together. We would go everywhere. We spent a lot of time riding in Canada and at Lake Tahoe, where we both had season passes.”
Camboia passed away in 2015, and Quinn wanted to memorialize his friend. So he reached out to their alma mater and decided he wanted to contribute to the “Adopt an Acre” program at Russell Ranch, a sustainable research farm west of campus.
“The Camboias are farmers from Gustine, so this gift seemed to resonate with his life and his background,” Quinn said. “He never forgot where he came from. It just seemed like a very fitting tribute to Dave and his family.”
A one-acre research section of the century-long sustainability experiment now bears Camboia’s name.
Fond memories of UC Davis
Quinn, who today is head of a global information systems department at Apple Inc., graduated from UC Davis with a bachelor’s degree in political science.
- He has many fond memories from his time as a student athlete and all the friends, coaches, educators and other mentors that helped shape who he is today. He says there is something special about a UC Davis education and how it builds character, a trait he sees in many fellow alumni.
“It was an honor to attend UC Davis and to have the experiences that I did,” Quinn said. “I look at my life today and I wouldn’t change a thing. I feel very fortunate. A lot of that is a testament to Davis.”
An engaged Aggie alumnus
Over the years, Quinn has found many ways to stay involved with UC Davis. He has been a board member of the Cal Aggie Alumni Association and an ex-officio trustee of the UC Davis Foundation Board.
He also has financially supported programs such as the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, the Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, the UC Davis Athletic department and the MIND Institute. Quinn was also instrumental in the establishment of the Melvin R. Ramey Fund for Student Success, culminating in the entry lobby to the Student Community Center being named in Ramey’s honor. Ramey was a beloved civil engineering professor on campus and Quinn’s track coach.
“Over time I’ve tried to give back as much as possible, so as opportunities arose I would take them,” Quinn said. “Dave was a dear friend and a really wonderful guy. Part of me wants to make sure his name echoes out there as long as possible.”
Many ways to give back
A proud Aggie, Quinn points out there are many ways to give back to the university. Time is as important as financial support. He suggests joining the alumni association, reconnecting with a department, contacting the career center, or seeking out any one of the many opportunities for engaging with the university.
“UC Davis is one of the top public universities in the country. If there are parts of UC Davis you believe in and care about, just do it,” Quinn said. “Every little bit helps—and it creates a pattern of giving. I say, just start.”
Russell Ranch seeks supporters for sustainable agriculture
Russell Ranch, located in one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world, seeks to answer the question: Can we increase sustainability as we increase food production?
Research here takes the long view on major drivers of agricultural production, including energy, water and land resources. Russell Ranch’s Century Experiment is exploring the long-term impacts of crop rotation, farming systems (conventional, organic and mixed) and inputs of water, nitrogen, carbon and other elements on agricultural sustainability. The goal is to understand the relationships between external inputs and long-term trends in yield, profitability, resource-use efficiency and environmental impacts.
“All gifts to the Russell Ranch endowment fund the sustainability experiment and are greatly appreciated,” said Melissa Haworth, a senior development officer with the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “With continued investment, Russell Ranch is poised to provide critical data that will help feed the world’s growing population while protecting the environment.”
To learn more about giving opportunities to support Russell Ranch and the Agricultural Sustainability Institute, please contact Haworth at 530-979-1440 or [email protected]