Kickoff 2020 Celebration

 Chancellor Gary S. May
Chancellor Gary S. May addresses the audience at 2020 Kickoff

Chancellor May's remarks, as written, for staff and faculty at the ARC Pavilion 

Good afternoon UC Davis!

Before we keep this party going, I want to thank the Council of Deans and Vice Chancellors. I also want to recognize my Chancellor’s Leadership Council.

These dream teams serve the needs of students, staff and faculty with tremendous heart and hard work. And, they certainly know how to make a person feel welcome.

Now, we’d like to put the spotlight on all of you in the crowd. I know how hard everyone works and how committed you are to UC Davis. We wanted to make it loud and clear: UC Davis would be nothing without you!

From our incredible faculty, to our dedicated staff--all those who work at UC Davis, you are leading this university to its most exciting times in history.

Can the members of the CODVC and CLC join with me in giving our audience a big round of applause?

Alright then, let’s focus on why we’re here, and more importantly, where we’re going.

I’ve been thinking about a single word that sums up UC Davis. That’s a tough one given the scope of our university, from health and humanities, to engineering, the arts, food science and so much in between.

But if there is one word that best describes UC Davis, it’s this: Growth.

Our roots go back to 1908, when our campus was the University Farm. We’ve always specialized in growing things, like grape vines, olives and healthy cattle herds. We still grow all those, and so much more.

Now, we’re growing innovations in health technology. We operate the #1 medical center in Sacramento and we’re among the Top 50 in 10 medical specialties, from cardiology to cancer.

We’re also growing new generations of artists and engineers. We’re growing intellect through literary scholars and mathematicians. We’re growing our innovative spirit and economic impact through incredible new collaborations.

We’re certainly growing in prestige. Back in 2010, UC Davis was ranked 11th among public universities across the country. Now, we’ve risen to the #4 spot - and we’re going to keep moving on up!

There was more good news last week. The Wall Street Journal with Times Higher Education ranked UC Davis #3 among public schools in the west. We’re right there in the winner’s circle and that something to be proud of.

We’re still the country’s #1 school for agriculture, and we’re still #1 in the nation for sustainability. Our school of VetMed is regarded among the best in the world. Just ask Renee Zellweger. Or William Shatner. These celebrities gave UC Davis a big shout-out after receiving care here for their pets.

UC Davis researchers are working around the world to create a better tomorrow. Some of that crucial work is happening right in our backyard. I’m thinking of our outposts in Lake Tahoe and Bodega Bay, where researchers are studying water issues that have implications across the planet.

In fact, I understand our friends in Lake Tahoe and Bodega Bay are watching now on a live webcast. Can we give some Aggie applause to our friends on the water?

But we’re not done. We’re gathered here at the dawn of a new decade and the stakes are high. More than ever, the world needs big ideas and long-term vision.

More than ever, the world needs to know about UC Davis!

Our days of being “the best kept secret in higher education” are done. The days of “humblebragging” about our impact are done. We’re not going to be shy about our successes anymore. This sleeping giant needs to wake up.

So, why does this matter?

It’s because our mission is at stake. The good that UC Davis does for each other - for the state and for the planet - is enhanced when the world knows who we are and what we accomplish.

Goal four of our 10-year Strategic Plan, “To Boldly Go,” focuses on a variety of ways to raise our visibility.

The time is now to explain what UC Davis means, especially when it means so many things to so many people. The time is now to attract the best and brightest to UC Davis. The time is now to let the world know how UC Davis is the place that anticipates and solves the problems of the future.

It’s an all-hands-on-deck moment for us. As UC Davis heads into the new decade, we’re growing our culture of philanthropy. From endowed chairs and research funding, to student scholarships and new campus construction, the generosity of our donors enables us to accomplish things we’d only dreamed of in the past.

We’re going to spotlight philanthropy like never before. Stay tuned for a series of events on Oct. 9th and Oct. 10th, when we publicly launch our next comprehensive fundraising campaign – the largest in UC Davis history. I invite you to join me in being part of that exciting moment.

Put it all together, and you can see we’re at the dawn of an exciting new era for UC Davis. We’ve risen from humble roots to a powerhouse of higher education. The giant is awake. It’s time for UC Davis to say it loud and proud: We’ve grown beyond all expectations and we’re ready to let the world know!

Now, I’d like you to see what I mean.

We excel in so many fields and we’re united in our quest for excellence. So today, we’re giving you a first glimpse of how we’re going to tell that story. It’s our way of sharing the UC Davis attitude with the world and letting them know all we do.

As we head into a bold new decade, our mantra is this: Outgrow the Expected! Thank you … and Go Ags!

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