Lisa Gimmy

January 01, 2011

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Landscape architect Lisa Gimmy (Cowell '77), with photographs of her award-winning designs.

"When I look back on my educational experience at UC Santa Cruz, it seems in retrospect like a golden age of opportunity and abundance," said Lisa Gimmy, (Cowell '77), who supports undergraduate scholarships through the Telephone Outreach Program. "When the student callers contact me and they're asking for donations, and they explain what they go through now and you compare it to what you were offered, your heart just goes out to them."

Gimmy entered UCSC intending to major in science, but a class with pioneer faculty art professor Jasper Rose changed the direction of her studies. "It was the first time in my life I'd ever met somebody who was able to make connections across different disciplines and see things in a very unified way," said Gimmy, who graduated with a degree in art history and went on to graduate studies at Harvard University, then combined her interest in science with art to create a career as an award-winning landscape architect.

"UC Santa Cruz provides a truly collegiate, as opposed to competitive, atmosphere of learning," said Gimmy, who both remains friends with classmates from her undergraduate years and has expanded her circle of UC Santa Cruz friends through attending regional alumni events. "It was the first time in my life that I was in an environment that was completely filled with people who loved learning and were excited by almost everything around them."

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