Tim Strader may be a Bruin on paper, but he’s an Anteater at heart.

A graduate of the UCLA School of Law and former trustee and Orange County fund-raising chair for the Westwood campus, Strader today is among UCI’s most zealous enthusiasts.

Founding chair of the Chief Executive Roundtable and a member of the Graduate School of Management Dean’s Board, Strader also serves as The UCI Foundation’s vice chair for advocacy.

What led to his now-unwavering allegiance to the Irvine campus? A telephone call nearly 20 years ago, asking for his help.

“Chancellor Emeritus Jack Peltason wanted me to adopt the campus because there wasn’t a very large alumni base at the time – nowhere near today’s more than 80,000 alumni,” Strader recalls.

Strader agreed to pitch in and soon found himself relishing his newfound role with UCI. “I was very excited about helping UCI achieve the kind of prominence that UCLA and Berkeley had achieved.”

One of the first places Strader took his UCI advocacy was to the Irvine Health Foundation, where he has served as a  director since 1985. In 2002, influenced largely by Strader’s recommendation – he’s currently vice chair of the board – IHF made the community’s first million-dollar donation toward building the new university hospital at UCI Medical Center. The health foundation also has supported UCI over the years with more than $5 million in grants for a variety of health-related lecture series, conferences, visiting scholars and AIDS education programs, to name just a few.

Strader works as president and managing principal of Starpointe Ventures, an Irvine real estate and development company he runs with his son, Tim Jr. He also is a true philanthropist, intent on advancing the welfare of institutions that benefit Orange County residents.

UCI is high on that list. “UCI is the jewel of Orange County,” he enthuses. “Its impact on the community – educationally, socially, economically – is so great that we all need to go the extra mile to ensure that it continues to be a top-notch institution.”

The new hospital at UCI Medical Center heads Strader’s current agenda. “While we have some wonderful hospitals in Orange County, an academic medical center is where miracles happen,” he says. “That superiority of medical care is very important to the county’s quality of life.”

While his commitments to UCI and IHF top his priority list these days, Strader has a long and wide-ranging history of community involvement. A lifetime honorary director of the Orange County Business Council, he also is a director of the Orange County Performing Arts Center  and served as the center’s president when it opened in 1986. Other philanthropic activities include chairing fund-raising efforts for Santa Margarita Catholic High School, the University of Notre Dame, and other religious, civic and political causes.

Irvine Health Foundation President Ed Kacic, M.B.A. ’01 has known Strader for two decades. “Tim has always advocated for important causes in the community,” Kacic says. “His unique ability to focus on the issues and bring others to see the importance of those issues is remarkable.”

The youngest of six children, Strader attended college at John Carroll University, a Jesuit school near the family’s Ohio home. His brother, Paul, who graduated from law school the year Strader was born, left the Midwest to practice law in California.

Once he received his bachelor’s degree, Strader followed his brother – and his dreams – to California. At UCLA, he met his future wife, Susan. After graduation, Tim and Susan moved to Orange County with the first of their four children. Tim practiced law at the firm of Duryea, Carpenter and Barnes, and in 1970 led the team that chartered the city of Irvine.

The real estate business piqued his interest and, in 1972, Strader and Orange County developer Donald Koll became partners. For the next decade, the pair built office parks throughout Irvine and Newport Beach, until Strader opened his own company in 1984.

Today, Tim and Susan live in Corona del Mar. Their four children (including Stephanie, M.B.A. ’95) are grown, and the Straders have five grandchildren. Tim makes it clear that Susan is his partner not only in marriage, but in philanthropy as well. “I work with my wife as a team,” he explains. “Susan is part of every philanthropic endeavor that we’re involved in; we like working together as a couple.”

Strader plays as hard as he works. He and Susan traveled to Spain and Chile last year, the most recent stops on a travel itinerary that has traversed the globe. He also plays golf – by his own admission, not well – philosophizing that “for people my age, it’s a good opportunity to be outdoors and frustrate ourselves.” He often counts UCI faculty, friends and alumni among his playing partners, and is always ready to share useful tips on
the course.

In short, Strader is achieving his goals. “I work hard, play hard, enjoy life and get a lot of satisfaction out of helping others.”