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UC Davis Centennial
100 years of service, solutions, impact

Travel the UC Davis timeline

Graphic: Jerome Davis Farm

Look back at UC Davis’ history and see how, as we enter our second century, we have grown from our roots as a pioneering “ag” school.

Namesakes: Who are behind UC Davis landmarks?


Ever get curious about the people behind the names for campus buildings, athletic facilities and museums? These names have been bestowed on places and things to honor folks who founded and help build the campus into a leading research university in the 21st century. Their stories are legendary — at least within our big Aggie family.

Roots and traditions

Photo: Crocker Nuclear Lab

A century’s worth of UC Davis students, faculty and staff has figured out what matters in life and done something about it, each making a mark on this campus.

In the beginning

Photo: Historical UC Davis Quad

Stories recount the history and politics (and the almost-catastrophes) in creating a campus a century ago.

Looking back

Photo: David Risling, the father of Indian education, spent his career opening the doors of higher education to Native American students. He is credited with co-founding at UC Davis one of the few full-fledged Native American academic departments in the United States. (Debbie Aldridge/UC Davis photo)

History in the making

Hear in their own words from professors, administrators and coaches who tell the story of the rapid and dynamic evolution of UC Davis since World War II. Over the past 16 years, several hundred retired faculty members have been asked by the UC Davis Emeriti Association to sit in front of a camera and reminisce about the part they played in developing the campus.

Photo: Student bags broccoli at one of the many UC Davis green houses.

Cal Alumni honor UC Davis

The California Alumni Association at UC Berkeley honored UC Davis at its Charter Gala on April 4 with this video that highlights UC Davis accomplishments and transformations over the past century.

Photo: Half a century ago, it wasn’t unusual to see this sight: two students lead a cow past Haring Hall, site of the newly established School of Veterinary Medicine. (UC Davis archival photo, 1957)

Vet med’s beginnings

The first class of the School of Veterinary Medicine had seen tough times before its members began their veterinary education. Of the 42 students who enrolled in 1948, 41 had served in World War II. These fellows didn’t sweat the small stuff.

Photo: 1910 Ford model T

What was it like in 1908?

UC Davis American historian Eric Rauchway gives a national context to the creation of the state farm at in Davisville. This was the year that Henry Ford first produced the Model T, which transformed country life.

Photo: Celeste Turner Wright

Celeste Turner Wright

Celeste Turner Wright was a woman of firsts at UC Davis. When she died in 1999, Wright left a legacy that spanned the humanities and included her development of a faculty ready to teach from theatre and poetry to German and Latin.

Photo: Emil Mrak

A ‘general campus’

After a half-century of existence as a branch of UC Berkeley, UC Davis was declared an independent general campus of the university by an Oct. 23, 1959, vote of the UC Board of Regents.

Photo: Livestock demonstration

What is so special about 1908?

Good question. If officials opened the University Farm for public inspection and a dedication in October 1907, why not celebrate our centennial beginning that year?