When Sandi Redenbach ’72, Cred. ’73, a retired English and theater arts teacher, and Ken Gelatt ’67, Cred. ’68, a retired math teacher, heard about a colleague who had made a philanthropic contribution to the School of Education, the idea of giving to their alma mater resonated deeply with them both.
That’s because the School of Education prepares teachers for their pivotal role in the lives of young people, and educating children is the legacy Redenbach and Gelatt wish to leave behind.
“Our lives have been about all the students we’ve had in the classrooms in which we have taught,” Redenbach said. “We really believe that education transforms the world.”
In 2010, Redenbach created a charitable remainder trust with a real estate asset valued at more than $300,000 to benefit the school’s credential students and to provide flexible funding to be directed by the dean. That same year she and Gelatt were the first education alumni to include the School in their estate plans— an important philanthropic milestone.
In 2013, the couple made a bequest expectancy of $1.6 million to support, in perpetuity, the Redenbach Students-at-Promise Award, established through a $50,000 endowment Redenbach established in 2008. The couple’s recent estate gift, in addition to supporting educators in the future, helped the university surpass its goal of raising $120 million for student support through The Campaign for UC Davis—the university’s first comprehensive fundraising effort.
Gelatt and Redenbach are keenly aware of the important role the school plays in training and mentoring educators at every stage of their careers. After earning his teaching credential at UC Davis, Gelatt turned to the school for professional development during his challenging first year as an educator.
“They were very instrumental in getting me started,” Gelatt said.
Years later, the school’s Center for Cooperative Research and Extension Services for Schools — or CRESS Center — gave him new insights into student-centered learning. Redenbach also worked with the CRESS Center’s Area 3 Writing Project, a program in which educators coach their peers in how to best teach writing to students. In addition, Redenbach contributes her expertise and perspective as an educator and an alumna through her volunteer service on the school’s Dean’s Leadership Council and as the chair of the school’s alumni council.
The school’s innovative approaches to improving education also made Redenbach and Gelatt eager to give.
Redenbach and Gelatt are pleased to know that their commitment to helping children will be carried forward as the school fosters skilled and caring teachers for generations to come.
“The planned gifts created by Sandi and Ken will advance and enhance the school’s work in improving teaching and learning,” said Harold Levine, the school’s dean. “We are grateful for these generous contributions, which truly show Sandi and Ken’s dedication to education and are an example to all of us.”