The Adler family
The Adler family

Putting the “family” in Family Fellows

By Cari DuBois-Wright

Sometimes philanthropy is a family affair. In the Adler family, parents and offspring share a love of invention and a commitment to supporting students in need.

Parent Rick Adler is a civil and environmental engineer who holds multiple patents. He and Nancy Haekyung Adler gave their son an inspiring name—and Edison Adler ’23 is now a budding engineer.

So it’s no surprise the family supports the Engineering Student Design Center, which offers countless students like Edison a resource-rich playground where their imaginations can run wild.

“The Engineering Student Design Center allows students to take learned theories and apply them in practice,” said Rick. “It offers students a great opportunity to grow their design and development expertise.”

Alongside inventiveness, philanthropy runs in the family as well. Edison and his twin sister Hanna were raised to help others. While growing up, their activities included tutoring, dog-walking and playing music for the elderly.

Even as an undergraduate, Edison is a generous donor to the Student Pantry, and he plans to volunteer there as well.

Rick and Nancy are members of Family Fellows, a group of UC Davis parents and grandparents who are committed to creating exceptional collegiate experiences and enhancing successful student outcomes by supporting programs meaningful to them.

Through their engagement, Family Fellows enjoy a special relationship with university leaders, faculty and staff—and they inspire other UC Davis families to achieve the best for our students by serving as examples of impactful philanthropic giving. They also develop camaraderie with each other as a group, attending several events each year that bring them together in support of UC Davis.

Family Fellows are motivated to give for many of the same reasons expressed by other parent and family donors.

“We have watched Edison grow both academically and personally during his time at UC Davis. Previous parents have supported the school to give Edison this opportunity. We wish to continue this effort for future students,” said Nancy.

You can learn more about this engaged group by visiting our Family Fellows website.

And please feel free to get in touch with me any time about Family Fellows or any other programs that inspire you!

For more information about how parent giving makes a difference in students’ lives, contact Cari DuBois-Wright, Associate Director of Development in Parent Giving, at, 510-388-3605. You can visit our Parents Fund website here as well as learn more about our Family Fellows.

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