Marilyn and Dick McCapes

Marilyn and Dick McCapes

Marilyn and Dick McCapes

Gift of Gold

UC Davis alumnus and veteran Colby “Babe” Slater ’17 helped clinch the rugby gold medal at the 1920 Olympic Games and then led the 1924 team to victory as well in what would be the last Olympic rugby match for 92 years.

In 2003, Slater’s daughter and son-in-law, Marilyn ‘55 and Dick McCapes ’56 decided that Babe’s entire collection of medals and memorabilia should be given to UC Davis, the school he adored and the one that he, Marilyn and Dick all attended. Thanks to the McCapes generosity, the Slater Olympic collection is now curated and accessible through Special Collections at the University Library. Additionally, the McCapes created a fund to support Special Collections.

Rugby Gold Medal, 1920Medal bestowed on the victorious 1924 American athletes by the city of New York

In February 2005, key pieces were brought to the USA Sevens in Los Angeles to help promote the return of rugby to the Olympics. Just a little over a decade later – in 2016 – rugby will indeed return to the Olympic pitch.

Babe Slater gave everything to help his country, on the battlefield and on the playing field. Now, with his story safe at UC Davis, generations to come will be inspired by Babe’s legacy of commitment, competition and competition.