Seeking Out Aggie Heroes

Nominations Sought for Program to Recognize Those Who Help and Inspire

Members of the UC Davis Sikh Cultural Association wearing smoke masks.
<strong>Members of the UC Davis Sikh Cultural Association volunteering in Chico during the Camp Fire. (Courtesy Deepinder Nagra)</strong>

When the Camp Fire destroyed Paradise last fall, the UC Davis Sikh Cultural Association leapt into action, collecting and delivering donations to a Chico shelter, then volunteering at a Salvation Army warehouse.

Those students could be called Aggie Heroes — those who go above and beyond to help and inspire others.

Now the campus is looking for others, and is accepting nominations for students, faculty and staff who will be recognized on social media, the university’s website and at a forthcoming event with Chancellor Gary S. May.

May explained the phrase in his Fall Welcome address to campus.

“You become an Aggie Hero through your everyday actions and words,” he said. “It’s about taking a mindful approach to what you do and say for sake of your peers, your community and humanity at large.”

That event centered on Aggie Heroes, like students advocating for food security, housing and mental health services. Students have been spreading the message ever since by wearing the “#AggieHeroes” T-shirts given out that day.

In this new search, the university is looking for current students, faculty and staff on the Davis and Sacramento campuses and at satellite facilities who are actively engaged with the UC Davis community, giving back to the community, serving others, and inspiring by persevering in the face of challenges.

Michael O’Hearn, a music major who graduated this fall, could be called an Aggie Hero for his response to challenge. His education helped him renew a long-abandoned dream of becoming a professional trumpet player, and, at December’s commencement, he stood from the wheelchair he’s used since 2002 and walked across the stage.

Aggie Hero nominations, which will be accepted on an ongoing basis, can be made on the chancellor’s webpage. Nominees must be open to being publicly recognized if selected.

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