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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

KVIE documentary celebrates UC Davis’ Centennial

Starting out as a farm school, intent on producing better quality butter for the town then known as “Davisville” and utilizing the quad for hay production, UC Davis has clearly grown into a more comprehensive university in the last 100 years.

To commemorate UC Davis’ accomplishments and showcase its progress since its beginnings in 1909, television station KVIE teamed up with Centennial Director Robert Segar to produce the documentary, “Davis at 100.” Over 50 alumni, students and community members gathered at Walter A. Buehler’s Alumni and Visitors Center Monday night to see the premiere.

Prior to the screening, speakers including KVIE’s president David Lowe, UC Davis’ Robert Segar and KVIE producer Kelly Peterson acknowledged the importance of keeping the local community informed about the university’s history and array of achievements over the last 100 years.

“If you understand more about the history [of UC Davis] and look back and see the amazing accomplishments, you can’t help but be optimistic about the future,” said Robert Segar, director of UC Davis Centennial. “Nobody could have imagined the scope of achievements and academic enterprise that our university has accomplished.”

The documentary worked to incorporate the 100 years of historical information and accomplishments of the university. Though beginning with just a water tower and a creamery, UC Davis has now expanded to include institutions such as the UC Davis Medical Center, the Mondavi Center and the Veterinary School of Medicine. The documentary emphasizes the university’s transformation from a small school focused on producing food to one of the largest, most comprehensive educational institutions in the nation.

“People don’t tend to be familiar with where [UC Davis] has been and where it’s going,” said KVIE producer Kelly Peterson. “The documentary takes you back to before it was a general institution, so you see how far the university has become over the last 100 years.”

The documentary included an interview with university archivist John Skarstad, who provided perspective on the Davis experience.

“UC Davis is its own place,” Skarstad said. “A lot of people think we’re just a cow college and we’re not. We do original research and we are an original place.”

The documentary will be aired on KVIE public television tonight at 7 p.m.

REBECCA SHRAGGE can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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