Dear Alums

Alumni Board,
Chapters, and Clubs

2000 Time Capsule

African American Alumni Reunite

• Wildcats on
the Move

• Marriages and Anniversaries
• In Memoriam

Wildcat Highlight
Ruth Gardner Begell
Sheryl Luzzadder Beach
Richard Slavich



As the first director of the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa, California, Chico State alum Ruth Gardner Begell is working to preserve the legacy of the author, artist, and cultural icon. After serving as the director of the Vacaville Museum for more than 15 years, Begell is ready for the task at hand.

"I recognized the significance of his work and thought it was important to continue his legacy," says Begell. "My knowledge of anthropology and world culture will be well used in the facility."

In 1968, Begell, a Chico native, received her bachelor's degree in social science with a concentration in anthropology. She later received her M.A. in anthropology from Sacramento State. Begell says the relationships she formed with her professors, particularly Chico State anthropology professor Keith Johnson, inspired her to reach her highest potential.

"One of the best things that happens to you at school is the relationships you develop with your professors," says Begell. "Chico was a small school when I went there, with a lot of contact with my teachers."

Begell was selected to oversee the Schulz museum in April 2000, after a national search headed by Schulz's wife, Jean, who spearheaded the campaign to open a museum in his honor. The 27,384-square-foot museum, slated for completion late 2001, will include galleries for both temporary and permanent collections, a 100-seat auditorium, a sculpture garden, and a research and archive center.

"I really had no idea how immersed he was in the fabric of people's lives," comments Begell. "Most of the time it's unconscious, with people putting the comic strip on their desk because it had just the right message."

Many people draw upon the practical wisdom of Schulz's character Charlie Brown, notes Begell. "No matter how often he fails, he never gives up, and I think that persistence in the face of adversity is something that a lot of people take from the strip," she says.

Begell has been married to firefighter Rick Begell for 23 years, and together they have two children. "I have had the good fortune to enjoy a rewarding career and personal and family life," says Begell.


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