Changes Made to Design Competition to Encourage Entries

The exterior of the Chancellor's Residence at UC Davis
The Chancellor's Residence at UC Davis hosts up to 70 events a year in support of the university. (Tim McConville/UC Davis)

Updated July 7: UC Davis has done a makeover on the competition. To encourage entries, the campus has opened the contest beyond students to include alumni too, extended the deadline to July 19, and enriched the prizes with two $500 Amazon gift cards and more. See the updated contest website for rules and judging criteria, schematics and 360-degree photos of the rooms to be designed.

May 10 news release 

Even before Chancellor-designate Gary May and his wife, LeShelle, move into the official residence at the University of California, Davis, they are welcoming students to be part of its very fabric — literally.

In a contest that launches today (May 10), the couple is inviting current UC Davis students to submit designs for the living room and study, which are among the public rooms at the Chancellor’s Residence. The working budget for the two rooms is $20,000, which comes from privately donated funds.

“The Chancellor's Residence is a resource that belongs to all of the UC Davis community,” May said. “We are asking students to help us create an environment that is welcoming and one that reflects our campus community.”

UC Davis Chancellor-designate welcomes a male student to the Chancellor's Residence
UC Davis Chancellor-designate Gary May welcomes student-athlete Garrison Goode at an April 14th reception celebrating the successes of the men's and women's basketball teams. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

The contest will be a community affair. The designers will be students. The judging panel will include faculty and staff members as well as a graduate student, all with relevant expertise. The campus community will be able to view the top designs and vote for their favorite. And students, staff and faculty will be invited to the residence to help celebrate the winners and view the finished rooms. The rooms have been used for up to 70 events a year.

“We hope students will share their Aggie ingenuity and creativity through this contest,” LeShelle May said. “We really want spaces that reflect the pride of our university and the inspiration of our beautiful Northern California setting.”

Guidelines seek UC Davis, Northern California inspiration

Through June 30, contestants may submit designs for one or both rooms. The guidelines call for furniture in a “classic contemporary” style; a color palette and pattern scheme inspired by Northern California and UC Davis; and a study inspired by UC Davis and providing a place for Aggie memorabilia.

Contestants must work with the existing style, wall color, flooring and fixtures, and not include any new construction, renovation or painting.

Entrants are asked to submit a brief written inspiration for the design, up to five images, design schematic files and a budget for the cost of materials.

Winner(s) to help oversee implementation of designs

Gary and Leshelle May
UC Davis Chancellor-designate Gary May and his wife, LeShelle, attend Black Convocation on April 14. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis) 

With two rooms up for design, UC Davis could have one or two grand prize winners. The prize includes helping oversee the implementation of the design. The house will display framed artwork of the designs and placards acknowledging design credit, and the winning designs will be featured in UC Davis Magazine. The winner or winners will also receive an Aggie prize pack valued at up to $100.

Contest open to current UC Davis students

The contest is open to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at UC Davis as of today’s May 10 launch date.

Students can enter online. The contest website includes rules and judging criteria, schematics and 360-degree photos of the rooms to be designed.

The grand prize-winning designs will be announced on or before Aug. 8.

About the Chancellor’s Residence

The Chancellor’s Residence, located just steps from the Davis campus, serves as the personal residence of the chancellor and hosts events and meetings in support of UC Davis. It is the second official residence to be built on the property. Completed in 1997, the single-story building was designed by William Turnbull Associates of San Francisco and built by Ridge Builders Group of Davis.

Media Resources

Dana Topousis, UC Davis Strategic Communications,

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