As a UC Davis student, Chuck Louderback never doubted his choice to pursue a liberal arts degree—even in the face of that frequently asked question: “What are you going to do with a history major?”
His answer, over the long run, was—and still is—plenty!
After earning his bachelor’s degree in 1976, Louderback went to law school and launched a successful career in the San Francisco Bay Area as an employment and commercial litigation attorney—winning multimillion-dollar trial verdicts for his clients and being named to Super Lawyers’ ranks every year since the organization was created in 2002.
Believes in the liberal arts
Now, as a member of the College of Letters and Science Deans’ Advisory Council (DAC), he is helping to ensure that UC Davis students can pursue their academic passions and enjoy equally accomplished careers.
At the fall DAC meeting, after hearing a presentation about a new data studies program by faculty leaders and a current student, Louderback pledged $25,000 in matching funds to support this new Data Studies Program aimed at improving graduating students’ job prospects.
Others responded to the challenge with additional gifts, including Kevin Bacon and his wife, Kim; Rod Davis; Joan De Paoli; Tim McCarthy and his wife, Kirsten; Nancy Roe and her husband, Bill; Joan Sallee and her husband, Tom; and Patrick Sherwood and his wife, Stacey.
Helped launch data studies
The Data Studies Program, which started with three courses last summer, grew out of conversations held by a UC Davis team—including McCarthy, a former president of Charles Schwab and Nikko Asset Management—with Silicon Valley executives. Repeatedly, company leaders said their biggest need is for data analysts.
With gifts from Louderback and other DAC members, faculty launched a new course, “Introductory Data Exploration with R,” this spring. More than 100 students signed up to learn the programming language used by leading technology companies.
Inspired by faculty and students
“I enjoyed going to UC Davis very much,” said Louderback, who played Aggie baseball and intramural football and softball and studied European history. “It makes me want to give back to such an institution that fundamentally changed my life.”
Louderback said volunteering with the College of Letters and Science gives him a view of the vibrant life of the campus. “It’s fascinating to see what’s happened at the university. It really enhances the joy in my life to see both the teachers and the students who are helping to change the world for the better. To be around that kind of energy, it’s very infectious—in a positive way.”
— Kathleen Holder, content strategist in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science