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From the Dean: How Far We've Come

Closing out an unconventional year

Somehow December is here already. With the end of the year just around the corner, we can look back on what we have accomplished over the last 12 months, and reflect on how far we’ve come.

For starters, UC Davis successfully transitioned back to in-person instruction. In the college alone we welcomed over 6,000 students to campus. Those who were admitted as freshman in 2020 were new to campus, despite having been UC Davis students for a year! It has been a great pleasure for all of us to see the courtyard outside Green Hall full of activity and students biking across campus again.

By now you have likely read about the UC Davis Genome Center’s role in providing free, rapid COVID testing for the Davis community. As a result of this effort (the center has tested over 1 million saliva samples), on-campus positivity rates are less than 1 percent, and our on-campus vaccination rate is 98 percent. Together, these factors have helped ensure a safe environment for our students, faculty and staff who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to learning, teaching and exploration.

On the note of students, we are also celebrating the accomplishments of our graduating class. In just over a week, in-person commencement ceremonies will be taking place in the University Credit Union Center (formerly The Pavilion) – and not just for the class of 2021. More than 1,600 students from the class of 2020 have accepted the invitation to attend makeup ceremonies this year. Like everyone on campus, I am so pleased to know our students will once again be participating in such a significant and meaningful celebration of their academic success.

And speaking of success, this year donors to the college supported everything from COVID-19 testing resources to laboratory spaces for current and future life sciences students. To all who have given in support of the college, thank you. If you are interested in making a gift, the college has many priority giving areas, which benefit from gifts of any amount, and help ensure that we continue to deepen our support of the next generation of scientists.

In closing, I hope you can gather safely with your families and loved ones this year. And, from all of us in the College of Biological Sciences, I wish you a safe, happy and healthy holiday season. 

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