Skip directly to: Main page content

Cal Aggie Alumni Association

Cal Aggie Alumni Association

Bill Hollingshead

By Ben Moroski ’10

“There is merit and comfort in returning to your roots,” said Bill Hollingshead ’60. This is a theme that has come to define much of Hollingshead’s life. Born and raised in Woodland, he left the area in 1960, after graduating from UC Davis with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in music. He served in the U.S. Army and after being honorably discharged, and went on to live and work in Orange County for 30 years.

Even while away, Hollingshead never forgot where he came from or what his experiences in those days meant to him. “My years at UC Davis aligned my moral compass,” he said. “They helped me to mature and realize I was not the center of the universe. They prepared me for real life.”

They also found Hollingshead developing a passion for music that he would carry into his professional career. “Music was the cornerstone of all my activities at Davis; marching band, pep band, concert band, dance bands, orchestra and musical ensembles.”  During his time in the military, Hollingshead served in the Continental Army Band (CONARC Band), the second-highest-ranking band in the U.S. Army. Live music performances continued even after his honorable discharge. Bill served as the director of entertainment production for SeaWorld San Diego, worked in television and, since 1976, has been the president of Bill Hollingshead Productions Inc. Talent Agency, which represents major musical artists primarily for live concert performance.

In 2000, Hollingshead began to return to his roots. While attending a 10-decade high school reunion in Woodland, Bill ran into his high school sweetheart, Sharon Dianne Escardo ’63. The two reconnected and eventually married. Hollingshead returned to Davis, where Sharon, also a UC Davis graduate, had lived for 20 years.

Bill and Sharon are active in CAAA. They participate in Pajamarino, Aggie Diner and Parent and Family Weekend. In 2012, UC Davis and CAAA honored Hollingshead with the Aggie Service Award. To see his award video, go here.

Some 50 years after graduating, Hollingshead says he and Sharon still relish their connection with the university. “UC Davis gave us the courage to try new things,” he said. “We feel as if we grew up there.”

Bill and Sharon still reside in Davis.   

-- First posted July 2010; updated December 2012