Diana Daymond and Don Hanna met in high school. Diana was a member of Northgate’s first graduating class in 1976, while Don graduated from Ygnacio Valley. Don was a diver, and Diana was swimmer. Back then Northgate did not have a pool, so the swim team practiced at Heather Farms and were always the visiting team for swim meets. Diana was undefeated in the butterfly and after graduation competed in the Olympic Trials. Her swimming career began at the age of six, swimming for Rancho San Miguel.
Diana grew up in an Eichler home in the Rancho San Miguel area. She remembers playing in the almond orchard (where Sports Basement is now) and sitting on a “man killing” bull in what is now Heather Farm Park. While at Rancho San Miguel Elementary School she became student body president as a 6th grader and instituted a cupcake sale every week to raise funds for a time capsule. Once the school closed and became Berean Christian High School, no one knows what happened to that time capsule. She then went on to Foothill Intermediate School where she remembers the early 70’s rule dictating that girls could not wear pants! Protests eventually led to a change in that rule.
Don, meanwhile, was born in Rhode Island and spent his early childhood in Michigan and Connecticut. He moved to Concord in the early 70’s. Don was an accomplished diver, attending UC Berkeley after high school and diving for the two-time NCAA championship swim team. Diana attended UC Davis for two years then joined Don at Berkeley. After graduating they decided to try out the East Coast for graduate school. Don earned his Ph.D. at Harvard in Economics, and Diana received her Master’s degree in Architecture at MIT. The were married during this period, but instead of returning to the Bay Area after graduate school as they had planned, life took them on an adventure working and living all over the world while raising their two children.
Don’s career in international macro-economics for the World Bank and investment banks took them to Chile, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. They loved traveling and exploring new cultures. Diana was working as an architect designing homes, offices and stores as well as furniture and clothing. While living in Jakarta and Hong Kong, Diana coached the swim teams. When the kids were young Diana received the advice that the expat life is best when grounded with a home base back in the USA. They decided to make Northgate that home base, spending their summers here to visit family and continue the family tradition of swimming at Rancho San Miguel, which Becky and Colin both did for many years.
In 2003, Diana and Don bought an Eichler near the Boundary Oaks Golf Course. They decided to return permanently in 2020 when Don was offered a professional faculty position at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Diana continued to focus on her longtime passion and career: helping teens navigate the college admission process. She used her knowledge gained at MIT to counsel international students and swimmers find their way to Ivy League schools in the US. Last year Diana completed the UC Berkeley’s College Counseling Certificate program and began helping local teens with college admissions and athletes with the recruiting process (DianaDaymondCollegeAdmissionAdvising.com). Last year she volunteered at Northgate to help the college counselor guide seniors and get re-connected with this community she loves so much.
Don has joined the Men’s Golf Club at Boundary Oak, and both Diana and Don swim with the Walnut Creek Master’s Swim Team. Diana also enjoys Zoom Book Club meetings with a group she started in Indonesia, but she would also love to join a local book group. You can reach her at email@example.com.
Their daughter, Becky, is an epidemiologist living in New York with her husband and three children. During the pandemic she visited her parents here in Northgate for several months at a time, where they all enjoyed Arbolado Park, flying kites, and riding bikes along the canal trail. Diana says, “She cherished that her children could enjoy the Northgate lifestyle as she had done as a child during their summers in Walnut Creek.”
Their son, Colin, is a partner in a London-based venture capital firm. He lives in Vienna, Austria with his wife and two boys. When Colin got married in 2018 his four best men were long-time friends who met when they were six and swam together all through their childhoods.
Their years spent in Asia provided opportunities for Diana and Don to visit virtually every country, but their favorite memories include family hikes in the Himalayas, fall walks in the Japanese countryside, bike rides in rural China and Vietnam, beaches and volcanoes in Indonesia and a family reunion in Burma. But their ultimate family vacation is close to home: a week in Carmel in a home Diana’s family has been renting each summer since 1967. This past May, four generations of Diana’s family gathered in Carmel for a memorial for her mother, 50 year Northgate resident Daisy Daymond.
After nearly 40 years of traveling the world, Diana and Don are eager to reconnect with this neighborhood they hold so close to their hearts. Welcome back Diana and Don!