Skip to Content

In Memoriam

Carol Tomlinson-Keasey, Founding Chancellor for UC Merced

What are the distinguishing marks of a life well lived?
It is a life lived in service.
A life lived with passion.
A life lived with purpose and grace.
And finally, it is a life that, at its end, leaves this world in better shape than when it began.

Such was Carol Tomlinson-Keasey's life. Her legacy — this amazing 21st century research university ensures that Carol will always be remembered well. She will be remembered by all who knew her, and by many who were not fortunate enough to have met her.

She set the example for us of how to keep moving past obstacles toward the vision of a UC campus in the San Joaquin Valley. She built a very strong foundation of connections and relationships, internally and with UC Merced's advocates in the community and in the legislature. Without that foundation, the campus would not exist. Anyone who benefits from UC Merced, now or in the future, experiences the tangible results of her well-lived life.

Ken Riggs

Ken Riggs

Ken Riggs

Ken was truly one of the great stories of a person who, in spite of few resources and little education, came to be a successful businessman, community champion, and family leader. Ken's success was accomplished, not at the expense of others, but because he helped most everyone he met along the way.

Ken was never afraid to dream big, and to find ways to get people together to get things done for the community. Merced is a different place because of his dedication to service, and UC Merced is perhaps the crowning jewel in the list of projects that he spearheaded.

Ken always respected education and encouraged everyone to reach their potential. Ken clearly understood how important each gift is — no matter how large or small.