Together Again: Give Day and Picnic Day Return to Campus

Give Day and Picnic Day are poised for a jubilant return to campus for the first time since 2019, featuring all the traditional favorites like the parade, Doxie Derby and Chemistry Magic Show — along with plenty of opportunities to support UC Davis academic programs, research, services and scholarships across campus and beyond.

The 29-hour Give Day event, UC Davis’ biggest fundraiser of the year, starts at noon on Friday (April 22) and runs until 5 p.m. Saturday. Picnic Day, UC Davis’ open house with hundreds of activities, now in its 108th year, runs from 9 to 5 on Saturday.


Give Day 2022 logo

Give Day donations broke records in 2020 and 2021 despite the event being online-only due to the pandemic. And enthusiasm remains high for Give Day, now in its sixth year. Community donors have stepped up to offer some 230 challenge gifts worth more than $2.8 million dollars, up from $2.4 million in challenges, then a record, in 2021.

Challenge gifts make contributions of any size go further by “unlocking” larger amounts put forth by community donors. While not all Give Day donations come in response to challenge gifts, challenges are a good indicator of donor enthusiasm. See a sampling of challenges below.

“During the past two years, our donor community has expressed great appreciation for UC Davis’ leadership in addressing the pandemic, helping communities cope with wildfires, providing emergency funds for students and staff in need and other critical services,” said Shaun Keister, vice chancellor of Development and Alumni Relations, the division responsible for Give Day. “There’s a real sense of ‘You’ve been here for us — and we’re here for you.’ UC Davis is developing solutions for so many problems we’ve faced during this challenging time.”

This weekend is a time to celebrate and support UC Davis and the strength we find in community. To use this year’s Give Day slogan: Together, we’re greater than ever.


A sampling of challenges

  • Tube Sock Challenge for Student Emergency Relief Aid (SERA)

  • SERA, run by the UC Davis Student Foundation, provides quick cash awards to students facing emergency costs not covered by other forms of assistance. This $3,000 challenge is unlocked by 20 gifts of any size. (The tube sock reference comes from donors Trevor and Lindsay Longman ’09, who met during their time with the Aggie Pack.)
  • Support the Veterinary Emergency Response Team (VERT) and Animals in Need
  • VERT saves the lives of hundreds of animals each year by deploying to wildfire zones to provide rescue, triage or treatment. Twenty-five gifts unlock this $2,500 challenge.
  • Support the Alice Waters Institute at UC Davis
  • Located in Aggie Square in Sacramento, the institute will lead the way in creating more equitable and regenerative food systems. Fifteen gifts unlock this $5,000 challenge.
  • Cancer Center Patient Assistance Support Fund
  • Supporting programs that help patients and families cope with illness and achieve their best possible quality of life as they face cancer. Twenty-five gifts unlock this $20,000 challenge.
  • Genome Center Challenge
  • The Genome Center has been core to all COVID testing during the pandemic. This challenge will provide immediate support to faculty, students and staff as they advance the Genome Center’s teaching, research and public service mission. Twenty gifts unlock this $20,000 challenge.
This year’s Give Day coincides with Earth Day (April 22). In that spirit, here are a few of many challenge gifts supporting the environment and natural resources:
  • One Climate Institute Challenge
  • This gift supports the UC Davis Big Idea that puts interdisciplinary science into action to address climate change. Seventy-five gifts unlock this $75,000 challenge.
  • World Water Initiative Challenge
  • This challenge, too, will bring interdisciplinary expertise to bear on solving local and global water challenges. Fifteen gifts unlock this $2,500 challenge.
  • White Abalone Restoration Research Challenge
  • Supporting the Bodega Marine Laboratory’s work to restore white abalone to the Pacific Coast. Forty gifts unlock this $2,500 challenge.
  • Arboretum’s New Environmental Learning Center
  • Supporting a vibrant new hub of educational programs focusing on sustainability and the environment for the benefit of thousands of people each year, including students. Fifteen gifts unlock this $2,500 challenge.

Media Resources

Joan Fischer is a senior writer for the Annual and Special Gifts Program in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, and can be reached by email or at 530-754-0482.

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