University of California Davis
The University of California, Davis, commonly abbreviated to UC Davis or UCD is one of the ten University of California campuses. It is located in Davis, California, about fifteen miles (24 km) west of Sacramento in California's Central Valley. As of Fall 2003, it had a total student enrollment of 30,229 with over 147,000 degreed alumni.
What was to become the seventh UC Campus opened its doors to 40 degree students (all male) from UC Berkeley in January 1909 as the University Farm. (The farm began accepting non-degree farmers' short courses in October of 1908; there were initially around 115 such attendees.) The establishment of the Farm was largely the result of the vision and perseverance of Peter J. Shields, secretary of the State Agricultural Society, and the eponym of UC Davis' Peter J. Shields Library. He began to champion the cause of a University Farm to teach agriculture in a more applied fashion after hearing about Californian students who chose to go to out-of-state universities due to the lack of such a program in the University of California at that time. He later stated:
After two failed bills, a law authorizing the creation of a University Farm was passed in 1905, and Yolo County, home to some of California's prime farmland, was chosen as the site. The Farm accepted its first female students in 1914 from Berkeley. Renamed in 1922 the Northern Branch of the College of Agriculture, it continued growing at a breakneck pace: in 1916 the Farm's 314 students occupied the original 778 acre (3 km²) campus, but by 1951 it had already expanded to a size of 3,000 acres (12 km²). In 1959, the campus was declared by the Regents of the University of California as the seventh general campus in the University of California system. It has since grown into a vibrant and politically active campus, with noted protests during the Vietnam War years.
The office of Chancellor was begun in 1958 when Provost Stanley B. Freeborn was promoted to Chancellor as part of a major reorganization of the UC system by UC President Robert Gordon Sproul:
Colleges and Professional Schools
UC Davis is a research university, ranked 16th among public universities nationwide by the National Research Council and 11th among public universities nationwide by U.S. News & World Report. It is a member of the Association of American Universities.
According to the National Science Foundation, UC Davis spent $456,653,000 on research and development in the fiscal year 2002-2003, ranking it 14th in the nation. Specifically, UC Davis's expenditures nationally ranked first in agricultural research ($25,683,000), seventh in biological research ($45,283,000), and 13th in the life sciences ($336,796,000).
Its faculty includes 18 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 6 members of the National Academy of Engineering, 7 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2 Pulitzer Prize winners, and 2 MacArthur Fellows.
The university is known for its highly selective veterinary medicine program as well as for its Department of Applied Science, founded and formerly chaired by physicist Edward Teller. The well-known Department of Viticulture and Enology (i.e., concerning the scientific study of grape-growing and winemaking) is responsible for significant advancements in winemaking utilized by many Californian wineries.
Sports, clubs, traditions, and student activities
After finishing first in NCAA Division II six times in 2003 and winning the NACDA Director's Cup 4 years in a row from 1999 to 2003, the UC Davis Aggies (or Ags) are currently in the four-year process of transitioning to NCAA Division I. (The Aggies will be members of the Great West Football Conference for football and the Big West Conference for other sports.) The official school colors are blue and gold, and the official mascot is a mustang.
UC Davis is famous for its large numbers of bicyclists, and the city of Davis boasts over two bikes per capita, the most of any U.S. city. Bicyclists are ubiquitous around campus, and thus a lot of bike-only infrastructure exists, such as bike circles, large bike lanes, and traffic signals exclusively for bikes. Davis also has a bike police, which among other things, gives tickets for bicycling under the influence (BUI). All bikes on the UC Davis campus must also be registered with a California Bicycle license, available for $8 from various bike stores.
UC Davis is also well known for its bus service, Unitrans, and their trademark London double decker buses. It is believed to be the only general purpose (non-sightseeing) transit system in the U.S. to operate vintage double decks in daily service and has been in operation since 1968. The system is operated and managed entirely by students and offers fixed-route transportation throughout the city.
Another attraction of UC Davis is its student-run radio station, KDVS. The station began operations on February 1, 1964 from the laundry room of the all-male dormitory Beckett Hall. The station soon gained a reputation by airing interviews with Angela Davis and a live call-in show with then California Governor Ronald Reagan in 1969. The station can now be heard on 90.3 FM.
UC Davis also has a fairly active fraternity and sorority community. National fraternities in UC Davis include Tau Kappa Epsilon, Sigma Chi, Chi Phi, Theta Chi, Sigma Alpha Epislon, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Sigma Phi Epislon, and Alpha Gamma Rho. One of UC Davis' sororities was even featured in an MTV reality, "Sorority Life"
UC Davis is the only UC campus to have excellent freeway access in that it is bounded by freeways on two sides (Highway 113 and Interstate 80). All other UC campuses are either somewhat distant from the closest freeway or are directly adjacent to only one freeway.