Barbara Canfield

When UCSC Foundation trustee Barbara Canfield made a gift of stock to UCSC’s Soroptimist International of Santa Cruz Endowment, her generous gift tripled the value of the fund. A supporter of Shakespeare Santa Cruz and the UCSC Affiliates for many years, Canfield made her contribution of appreciated assets to support students and to incorporate her philanthropic interests into her overall investment strategy.

February 09, 2011

Foundation Trustee Barbara Canfield's gift of securities allows her to incorporate her philanthropic interest in supporting UC Santa Cruz students with a tax-wise investment strategy.

“Because the cost basis for these stocks is so unbelievable, my financial adviser recommended that I divest myself of this particular security,” she said. By making a gift of highly appreciated stock Canfield removed her most tax-intensive and least advantageous assets from her estate. Instead of being taxed, the asset became an essential resource for programs she believes in.

Created in January 2005, the Soroptimist International of Santa Cruz Endowment assured the Soroptimists’ longtime annual funding of scholarships for UCSC transfer and re-entry students would be available in perpetuity. Transfer and re-entry students “often have no support or financial safety net from family," according to Corinne Miller, who is also a Soroptimist, as well as director of Services for Transfer and Re-Entry Students (STARS). Canfield and Miller are longtime supporters of the professional women’s service organization committed to improving the lives of women and children in their local community. Many members of the local chapter of Soroptimist International are UCSC alumnae or staff.

Canfield’s gift of appreciated securities represents an ongoing investment in her family’s legacy as active members of the Santa Cruz community. “My grandfather, Tom Polk Williams Sr., was mayor of Santa Cruz in the 1950s and my dad was president of the school board at the same time.” In the early ‘60s, Barbara’s father, Tom Polk Williams Jr., was a Santa Cruz civil engineer on the committee to create a new UC in Santa Cruz. He worked with founding chancellor Dean E. McHenry, “tramping around with a survey crew” to build the beautiful campus we now enjoy.

Canfield’s father and her mother, Eleanor H. Williams, were both early UCSC volunteers. Along with several other members of the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce, the Williamses were intimately involved in establishing the UCSC Affiliates in the early ‘60s. Still active today, the Affiliates became UCSC’s first support group to help “new faculty, staff, and students integrate into the campus and the Santa Cruz community. Affiliates led tours of the campus and served as an alumni association until an alumni association could be formed,” Canfield said.

Through her parents’ involvement, Canfield grew up supporting UCSC activities. As a very young woman, Barbara would be sent up to the campus’s field house to give students a ride to church on Sundays. This is her earliest volunteer memory around which she’s built a lifetime of service.

Canfield’s own university studies focused on pharmacology, which she pursued at two other UC campuses. Canfield is thrilled to see that UC Santa Cruz programs have become interdisciplinary over time. “The integration of the sciences with other disciplines is what makes UC Santa Cruz a world-renowned institution, attracting wonderful scholars,” Canfield said. “I’m so impressed with all the awards and honors that are coming our way. We need to keep that going.”

Today, as a UCSC Foundation trustee, Barbara Canfield marvels at the accomplishments of the school and her colleagues on the Foundation Board. “When I look at the names on our board, all with advanced degrees, published works, honors, and awards, I’m overwhelmed. It’s very motivating for me to give something back,” Canfield said. How fortunate UC Santa Cruz re-entry and transfer students are to count Barbara Canfield among the campus’s most dedicated volunteers and supporters.

To join Barbara in her support of UC Santa Cruz, please contact John Hopkins at 831-459-3822 or