The University of California, Davis (UC Davis) established its Body Donation Program in 1968 to create a philanthropic opportunity for donors to assist the medical school with the appropriate quality and quantity of anatomical materials necessary for the medical school curriculum.

UC Davis receives donations from the Northern California community. Donations are unsolicited and donors hear of the program mainly through word of mouth. Many donors are alumni of UC Davis, relatives or friends of students or alumni, have University of California (UC) affiliated physicians or are familiar with the research and academic reputations of the medical center and university. To date, the program has received about 3,000 donors. Currently, there are about 8,000 living people in the community registered as donors.

In the first year of the program there were very few donations. As our community's population has grown, donations have increased over the years. Since 2005, the program has maintained an average of 150 donations per year. Yearly increase in donation have enabled the Body Donation Program to supply teaching materials not only to the medical and undergraduate classes of UC Davis. It's also helped the programs of many area colleges and universities who rely on this program to fulfill the needs of their curriculum. The increase has also supported research at UC Davis, other UC campuses, non-UC researchers and occasionally to privately funded research institutions.

The mission of the Body Donation Program includes gratitude to the donors and their families, respect for all cultures and beliefs, and the program's duty to serve public education within our community.

A message to our donors and their families from the medical students at UC Davis.