A Give Day Challenge from Professor Knox and Chair Scalettar

Give Day Challenge

For UC Davis Give Day this year Professor Lloyd Knox and Chair Richard Scalettar have put up a $5,000 challenge. To encourage students and alumni to give, they will add a $50 gift of their own to the first 100 Give Day gifts to the Odyssey Graduate Fellowship endowment. Can you help us to reach our goal of 100 gifts? Even a $5 gift will trigger a $50 match.

Although Give Day is on the 19th and 20th of April this year, to coincide with Picnic Day, early giving is already open, so you can give now here.

Graduate fellowships support the recruitment and support of our graduate students. They allow us to compete for top graduate student talent. Not only do graduate students get an education here, they contribute tremendously to our teaching and research missions. They are critically important to our overall success as a department. We could not function without them.

The fund that supports the Odyssey Graduate Fellowship, the Opportunity Fellowship Endowment, was initiated in 2020 by our chair at the time, Rena Zieve. It is intended to recognize and recruit to our PhD program outstanding students who are thriving despite facing challenging circumstances that many other students do not face. These could be economic in nature, such as having to work through college to support themselves, or they could be social in nature, such as dealing with the impacts of racism or sexism. The fellowship is part of a broader effort to increase racial and gender diversity in our graduate program.

In July of 2021 we successfully completed Phase I of the campaign to fully endow this new fellowship. Phase I was focused on raising funds from within the department. Over 80% of the faculty gave, and we saw student giving that, according to campus Development staff, was  “unlike anything we have ever seen before.” We raised almost $250,000 in gifts and pledges.

You can make your gift here.
Even a $5 gift triggers a $50 donation from Knox and Scalettar.

“I’ve seen DEI efforts significantly improve the department culture over the last few years, and this is a giant step forward.”

*- Victoria Strait, in 2021 when she was a grad student in Physics and

"I gave because it became painfully clear that talking alone is just not going to change anything. I also had the experience of overthrowing communism in Hungary, which taught me that small actions can come together and cause much bigger change than anybody thought is possible."

*- Gergely Zimanyi, Professor of Physics and Astronomy*