Darryl Goss, B.A., African American Studies, ’83
For Darryl Goss (B.A., African American Studies, ’83), success is the result of passion and preparation. As chair of the College of Letters and Science Deans’ Advisory Council and executive trustee of the UC Davis Foundation, Goss exemplifies Aggie Pride.
A student-athlete while at UC Davis, Goss learned early that “winning is a learned behavior.”
“Our football team wasn’t made up of the best athletes in the league,” said Goss, “but we learned that if you work as a team with the set of resources you have and set lofty goals and objectives, you will excel. It’s about basic execution: know your role and never forget your teammate is counting on you.”
In addition to the lessons he learned on the football field, Goss says it was at UC Davis where he gained the basic principles that have driven his career as a nontechnical leader in the very technical field of high-tech manufacturing. “I don’t need to be technical to lead my team,” said Goss. “At Davis, I learned to be a problem-solver by combining the strong science background every UC Davis grad gains with the ability to think and communicate that I learned in my major. This is the value I add to my team.”
Goss’ career and service to UC Davis is evidence that a commitment to excellence and a passion for every endeavor is key. “I took the best from Davis—I met my wife Lois here. This is the kind of place that makes you want to do things for more than yourself.”
It is this focus on paying it forward that has inspired Goss’ continued leadership on campus and has informed his giving. The Gosses (Lois Goss earned a B.A. in sociology in 1988) support several undergraduate scholarships for student athletes and African American and African studies majors.
“To be successful as a university and as a college, to be the best we can be, requires everyone to participate,” said Goss. “I say to my fellow alumni, give out of your passion; giving means coming back to campus, making donations, whatever you can do. I say this to the administration and faculty, too. Everything we do together is to create alumni. It’s all about the students.
“Let’s have bold goals, so lofty that we would be embarrassed to tell others about them,” said Goss. “But most of all, actively participate in the university.”
Goss has served on the Deans’ Advisory Council for eight years and is president of SAFC Hitech, a major manufacturer of high technology and performance materials for information technology and energy companies. He earned an MBA from the University of Chicago.