Bob and Tammi Cluck

The “u” in the name Bob Cluck ’78 stands for UCI – at least according to the song a musician friend wrote for Bob’s 60th birthday. An economics alumnus, Bob is also a dedicated Trustee of the UCI Foundation, and he and his wife Tammi are active across multiple campus organizations including the School of Social Sciences Dean’s Leadership Society and Women of the Dean’s Leadership Society.

Bob grew up in Orange County and chose to attend the young Irvine campus in the 1970s over its more storied neighbor to the north. He knew he had made the right decision as soon as he attended the Student Parent Orientation Program.

“UCI created such a comfortable feeling, right away,” Bob remembers.

As Bob plunged into the burgeoning campus life, he made lifelong friends by joining Sigma Chi, which was then one of several fraternities starting new chapters at Irvine. He went on to serve as the Intra Fraternity Council president, and an at-large member of the Associated Students of UCI.

Bob’s early interest in economics was inspired by personal experience. He was just a teen when his father’s fortune changed dramatically due to a swing in the stock market, giving Bob profound insight into how macroeconomics impacts individual lives.

Although he went on to earn an MBA, Bob’s economics courses at UCI provided the foundation for his future career as an investment consultant. Michael Butler, professor of social sciences, taught the statistics course that introduced Bob to the concepts of standard deviation and volatility that he uses constantly in assessing investments today. Bob relished his political science and history courses, too, and fondly remembers moments such as Rein Taagepera, research professor, warning students, “This is not a Mickey Mouse class,” while waving a No. 2 pencil with a Disney eraser for dramatic effect.

“Tennis shoes Tammi”

In 1980, Bob met Tammi, who had just graduated from University of Southern California with a degree in broadcast journalism. She was headed off to a month-long IBM sales training in Texas, and although she had a boyfriend when they first met, she was unencumbered when she returned to Orange County, and Bob gave her a call. The two married in 1982.

Energetic and outgoing, Tammi successfully sold everything from copy machines to mainframe computers, working her way up the ranks at IBM over 16 years. She and Bob both worked full-time while getting their MBAs at Pepperdine University. As the couple started their family, she earned the nickname “Tennis shoes Tammi” because she was always running around with seemingly boundless energy – taking her kids to swim lessons on her lunch break, earning promotions at the office, and adeptly balancing three young children with her career. Although she took a hiatus from the professional world for several years after all three of them were born, she later returned to sales and dealt in everything from copy machines to golf courses.

Reconnecting with UCI

Bob meanwhile grew his expertise as an investment advisor at the firm Kidder Peabody, and in 1988 he founded Canterbury Consulting, an independent investment firm which now employs more than 65 people and manages over $28 billion in assets for endowments, foundations, healthcare organizations and families. It was Bob’s financial expertise that ultimately brought him back to UCI, first as an independent advisor for the UCI Foundation, then as a Trustee, and now as the chair of the Investment & Finance Committee.

In addition, Tammi and Bob are loyal patients of UCI Health, where Bob was successfully treated for cancer. Both entrust their vision care to the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, and Tammi is also actively involved in supporting the traveling Eye Mobile that treats high-need children across Orange County. She also works with the Jack and Shanaz Langson Institute & Museum for California Art.

Recently, Bob also reconnected with his fraternity, receiving the Significant Sig Award, which is given to members in recognition of “exemplary achievements in their fields of endeavor.” His son joined Sigma Chi at his university, too, and the pair recently played together in a fraternity charity golf event.

But the Clucks’ hearts are in the UCI School of Social Sciences, where Bob began building the business acumen upon which he would establish his successful career. The pair are founding members of the Dean’s Leadership Society, and have welcomed members to their home and to the Canterbury Consulting office, hosting lively events on topics ranging from presidential election politics to cryptocurrency. Bob and dean Bill Maurer’s mutual respect enables them to spar over topics like cryptocurrency – of which they’re both skeptical but for different reasons.

Tammi is also a member of the Women of the Dean’s Leadership Society, bonding with alumni and supporters through social and educational events at the Balboa Island Historical Society, Crystal Cove and Irvine Ranch Conservancy.

“I enjoy meeting other women who are associated with UCI, from various backgrounds and all different ages,” Tammi says. “It’s fun, and I get to see a different side of UCI.”

Just as you can’t spell Cluck or UCI without the “u,” the Clucks have become an indispensable part of the Anteater family.

"It's been so rewarding getting to know Bob and Tammi over the years," says Maurer. "I always appreciate their perspectives and their candor. I'm grateful for the impact they've made: the 'u' is also for their unwavering commitment to the School of Social Sciences and to UC Irvine. And they are just fun people to be around!"

-Christine Byrd for UCI Social Sciences

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