UC Davis receives $1.5 million for African American, African studies

UC Davis receives $1.5 million for African American, African studies

The University of California, Davis has announced a $1.5 million gift from alumni Lois ('85) and Darryl Goss ('83) to establish an endowed chair in the Department of African American and African Studies.

To be matched with $500,000 from the UC Presidential Match for Endowed Chairs, the gift will provide funding for teaching, research, and outreach related to the history and culture of communities of African descent around the world. The first endowed chair in the department, the Austin and Arutha Goss Presidential Chair in African American and African Studies is named in honor of Darryl Goss's parents, whom the couple credit with teaching them the value of education and lifelong learning. Arutha Goss began attending community college classes when her son was a student at UC Davis, earned an associate of arts degree, then bachelor's and master's degrees, and, at age 70, earned her doctorate in theology. After retiring from a twenty-year career in the military, her husband also earned a bachelor's degree in business.

Over the years, the Darryl and Lois Goss have created a number of endowments at UC Davis in honor of people who inspired them when they were students, including the Gary Perkins Academic Achievement Student Award in African American and African Studies and the Joe Singleton Athletic Scholarship. Darryl Goss currently chairs the board of the UC Davis Foundation, while Lois Goss serves on the College of Letters and Science Dean's Advisory Council, the Women and Philanthropy Advisory Council, and the Davis Chancellor's Club Cabinet.

"We specifically created this presidential chair due to the current climate around social justice — we want to bring diversity, equity, and inclusion to the forefront of everyone's mind," said Darryl Goss. "We need to provide appropriate support toward educational opportunities to generate more interaction and understanding of underrepresented people's histories."

"Alumni couple establish endowed chair, UC Davis’ 1st in African American Studies." University of California, Davis press release 02/23/2021.