A trustee emeritus of Chapman University who built a highly successful career as a real estate broker and a founder of Citizens Bank of Costa Mesa, Randy McCardle ’58 (M.A. ’66) passed away April 26. He was 86.

Together with his wife, Suki, McCardle was a passionate philanthropist and gave generously to his alma mater and other causes. He was particularly interested in supporting scholarships, and for more than two decades he was involved with American Celebration, now known as Chapman Celebrates. The McCardles were honored as Chapman’s Citizens of the Year at American Celebration in 2013 in recognition of their long tradition of philanthropy and leadership.

In 2016, Chapman conferred an honorary Doctor of the University degree on McCardle, recognizing his work as a community-builder in Orange County and his thoughtful leadership at Chapman. “Randy was not only a consummate gentleman, he was a gentleman, always the first to praise others and to show recognition for a job well done,” said Chapman President Daniele Struppa.

“One of the things I cherished most about Randy was his deep care for Chapman and our students. In fact, the first words out of his mouth every time I saw him were, ‘How is Chapman, and how are the kids?’”

As a young man, McCardle dropped out of high school in ninth grade and struggled to find his purpose. When he joined the Navy, the first document he filled out asked his level of education, and McCardle had to circle the lowest grade listed.

“That motivated me,” he said in a 2013 interview. “Education became important to me, and I started hanging out with learned people. I figured that if they can do it, why can’t I?”

In addition to his two degrees from Chapman–a bachelor’s degree in social science and a master’s in education– McCardle earned a Ph.D. from the University of Western Colorado in 1974.

The McCardle family’s tradition of dedicated service and involvement with Chapman continues: Mark McCardle, Randy’s son, recently joined the Board of Governors, and Mark’s daughter, Quinn, is studying digital arts in Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.

Struppa recalled that even in later years when Randy McCardle’s health was not strong and he could no longer attend many functions, McCardle rallied for important special events.

“One of the last examples of this is when he attended the grand opening of Musco Center for the Arts in 2016,” Struppa said. “I recall him saying, ‘I just couldn’t miss Chapman’s big night.’”

This story appeared in the spring 2018 issue of Chapman Magazine.