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January 5, 1998

Ray Collett leaves post as Arboretum's director

Ray Collett

Ray Collett has stepped down from his administrative role as director of UCSC's Arboretum. On January 1, Professor Collett became the Arboretum's director emeritus. He retains his faculty position as professor of natural sciences and will maintain an active teaching schedule.

In honor of Collett's more than 30 years of service to the Arboretum and UCSC, Santa Fe resident and longtime Arboretum supporter Elspeth Bobbs has pledged $500,000 to the campus. The gift will establish an endowment that will help support the Arboretum's general operating expenses. Under terms of the pledge from Mrs. Bobbs, the campus and community have been "challenged" to match the gift.

A second gift to the Arboretum, made by Santa Cruz resident Barbara Shields in late December, has taken the campus halfway toward that matching goal. A lifelong gardening enthusiast and highly recognized watercolorist, Sheilds has established a charitable trust with a gift of $250,000.

"The Arboretum encompasses the wonderful collection that it does because of Ray Collett's foresight, skill, and hard work," Chancellor Greenwood said. "Dr. Collett deserves our admiration and thanks for his many years of profound dedication.

"I believe that our Arboretum has the potential to become a major campus asset--a renowned botanical collection that is a scientific resource for scholars and an educational resource for the community," the chancellor added. "These most generous gifts will provide a tremendous boost to the Arboretum. I hope our dedicated Arboretum friends will join us in meeting Mrs. Bobbs's challenge."

At a recent meeting of the Arboretum Associates, Executive Vice Chancellor Michael Tanner announced that an interim director would be named soon. Together with Lynda Goff, professor of biology and special assistant to the chancellor, the interim director will work closely with Arboretum manager Brett Hall, garden staff and volunteers, the Arboretum Associates, and faculty to implement a transition plan for the Arboretum.

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