Designing It Forward

Design major at UC Davis explains a project.
Design major Scott Sanchez presents his inspiration map during the Wayfinding Design class. A planned gift from alumnus Ronald Whitney-White will help support design majors.

Alumnus pledges $1 million to support students

Ronald Whitney-Whyte (B.S., design, ’75) has made a planned gift of $1 million to the College to support undergraduates majoring in design.

“I would like to increase the possibility of attaining the highest potential outcome when a student is working toward accomplishing a design project and education,” said Whitney-Whyte. “The cost of materials can at times limit the outcome. Students ought to be able to focus on the task at hand and not be distracted by undue financial constraints.”

Whitney-Whyte’s gift will establish two endowed funds, one to provide students with supplies and the other to support scholarships for junior and senior design majors.

Citing his time at UC Davis as pivotal for his success as an interior designer, Whitney-Whyte said, “There were some incredible professors during my time at UC Davis. [Professor Emeritus] Dolph Gotelli influenced how I look at the world: beauty is everywhere. Within a matter of a few years [after graduating], I had clientele that included some of the most famous people in the world.” 

Make your impact on the future

Our alumni and friends have the opportunity to ensure today’s students become tomorrow’s leaders by giving back. One of the most powerful and lasting gifts may be the easiest to make: putting a provision in your estate plans for the College of Letters and Science. 

For more information on making a bequest to the UC Davis College of Letters and Science, contact Charlene Mattison, assistant dean, college relations and development, at or 530-754-2225.

Donna Justice, director of marketing and communications for the UC Davis College of Letters and Science, wrote this article for the fall 2019 issue of the College of Letters and Science Magazine