Each April, tens of thousands of University of California, Davis, faithful — students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni and the Davis community — gather on the campus to celebrate the annual tradition known as Picnic Day. It is a chance to come together as a community and showcase how UC Davis is changing the lives of our students and the world around us.
This year, a new tradition is being added: UC Davis Give Day, a 29-hour fundraising drive to benefit students, programs and initiatives at UC Davis Health, our veterinary hospitals and across the university.
“We are excited to announce that more than 50 challenge gifts have been pledged to the university and UC Davis Health from alumni, staff, faculty, parents and friends,” said Shaun Keister, vice chancellor of development and alumni relations. “Our goal is to get as many supporters as we can to participate, and these challenges are a wonderful way to encourage members of our community to join us. It really shows the power we have, as a group, to transform our community, our state, and beyond. Every donation, pooled together, makes a big difference.”
More than two dozen colleges, schools and programs on both the Davis and Sacramento campuses are participating in the inaugural Give Day online. Beginning at noon on Friday, April 21, until 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, every supporter can log onto UC Davis Give Day and donate to the program of their choice. Running totals will be posted leaderboard style to encourage a little friendly competition. By giving through the site, donors will be able to release bonus funds by meeting challenges sponsored by a variety of supporters, further enhancing their contributions.
Making a difference
Pleasant Hill’s Destinee Cooper ’04, who earned her degree in environmental toxicology at UC Davis, noted the impact that donations to the university had on her: “UC Davis surprised me with two scholarships over the course of my time as a student. Since graduating, I have given back, and I encourage other alumni, friends, and all members of the UC Davis community to do the same so more Aggies can achieve their dreams and earn their degrees.”
Elena Siegel, associate professor at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing on the Sacramento campus, whose research into the quality and safety of nursing home care moved the needle on the nursing profession, echoes those sentiments. “Philanthropic support early in my career gave me the opportunity to change the conversation about how we improve nursing home quality and leadership. This work would not be happening without that support. I am invested in paying it forward through my research, teaching and mentoring, and a commitment to transforming health care.”
In addition to the website, there will also be a text-to-give option. Donations can be made by texting “UCDavis” to 51555. Join the conversation at the hashtags #UCDavisGiveDay, #EveryAggieCounts and #TogetherWeAddUp.