Gladys Cosens, the Arboretum’s lead challenge donor on UC Davis Give Day

Photo of Gladys Cosens in the Arboretum next to her brother Arley's memorial.

Gladys Cosens, long time Arboretum supporter, sits next to her brother Arley Firch’s memorial in our Australian / New Zealand collection. Arley’s memorial is located in the same area where renovations are currently taking place on the Waterway.

Thanks to Gladys Cosens for her $15,000 gift that kicked off the Waterway WOW campaign. Gladys was the Arboretum’s lead challenge donor for the UC Davis Give Day on April 21-22, 2017. Her Give Day challenge inspired over 60 other donors to make gifts in support of the campaign.

Gladys and her extended family have supported the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden for decades. She, along with her late husband Ed Cosens, and her late brother, Arley Firch, took on many roles with the Arboretum, including volunteering on gardening teams, helping at plant sale events, leading public tours and supporting Arboretum projects.

The Cosens’ connections to UC Davis began when they moved to Davis in 1956. Gladys worked for many years in labs on campus and she and Ed became passionate fans and supporters of UC Davis Athletics, campus music groups as well as the Arboretum. In fact, there’s a memorial to Gladys’ brother Arley Firch in our Australian collection, the same location where phase one waterway renovations are currently taking place.

We are sad to share the news that Gladys passed away on April 21, 2017. Gladys and Ed Cosens had a tremendous impact on the UC Davis Arboretum and the campus that they loved. Their generosity inspired others, creating a legacy that will live on here at UC Davis in so many ways!

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