Picnicking and Giving: 2 Worthwhile Days

People look at Big Ideas idea board (with Post-it notes attached).
<strong>UC Davis&rsquo; Big ideas idea board at Picnic Day, which coincided with Give Day, which welcomed gifts to our Big Ideas.</strong>

Our 105th Picnic Day and third Give Day are in the books and the reviews are in: Super job, Aggies, near and far!

The events overlapped last Friday and Saturday (April 12-13) as UC Davis threw its annual open house and solicited donations to maintain the university as an innovative, thriving public institution.

Preliminary data show Give Day brought in a record total of just over $2 million from 4,450 gifts over 29 hours, noon Friday to 5 p.m. Saturday, for programs at UC Davis and UC Davis Health.

The results showed a 17 percent increase in dollars and a 9 percent increase in number of gifts over the 2018 event. More gifts are expected to arrive through the mail this week.

Give Day included a record 145 challenges, which are donations of $2,500 or more to specific funds — donations that were “unlocked” when a specified number of donations came in. Challenge gifts are considered pivotal to the success of events like Give Day because they inspire new donors to participate.

Aggies from 29 countries and 46 states participated in Give Day 2019. The event also garnered support from 659 employees, 448 parents and 157 current students.

Now, as for Picnic Day, thousands of people converged on the campus for sun, sand, soil and lots more to see, from the parade in the morning to the Battle of the Bands that ran into the evening.

Picnic Day" Parade Marshal Sarah Stewart raises arms in celebration.
Sarah Stewart, professor of planetary science, declares: “Adventure Awaits!” (this year’s Picnic Day theme), before quickly departing the parade stage to take her place as parade marshal, riding in a convertible with her daughters.
 Cheer team in parade, in the sun
Sunshine greets the Cheer Team in the Picnic Day Parade.
 Boy blows bubbles in parade,
Parade participant turns his march into a bubbly affair.
 Player dives for ball in beach volleyball.
Savanah Schroeder competes against Pacific on one of the campus’s new beach volleyball courts.
 Ph.D. student assist child at soil art table.
Nadia Moukanni, a Ph.D. student in the Soils and Biogeochemistry Graduate Group, assists children with soil art — demonstrating that not all California soils are brown.
 Laser maze
A maze made from lasers, courtesy of the Optics Club.
 Dogs in the shade outside Craft Center.
Taking advantage of the shade outside the Craft Center.
 Dean Lairmore races a dachshound.
Michael Lairmore, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine, races the Doxie Derby winner, Franck — after pledging to do so if 50 people donated to his Give Day challenge (seeking donations to the DVM Scholarship Fund). Fifty donors came through, and so did Lairmore and his wife, Donna, donating $2,500.
 Two people taking naps on the grass.Napping.
Picnic Day can wear you out, in a good way.
 Children launch weather balloon.
Children launch a weather balloon outside the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources. The wind took this one to Calaveras County.

Photos by Karin Higgins, Dave Jones and Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis

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