School of Medicine Alumni Weekend 2020

We hope the following pages highlighting our 2020 School of Medicine (SOM) Alumni Awards recipients and our virtual Alumni Weekend will inspire and motivate you to commit to participating in our 2021–2022 Alumni Weekend — in whatever form it may take as we slowly segue back to our pre-COVID event world.

We’ll be sharing our plans as soon as we determine when we can safely host all of you on campus to celebrate with classmates, friends, students, and faculty in person.

Beyond Alumni Weekend, there are many ways to engage in the life of UC Davis School of Medicine, and we hope you’ll consider them as well.

One of the easiest ways to stay informed and participate in the life of your medical alma mater is through the School of Medicine Alumni Association (SOMAA) website. In addition to the information on the homepage, visit to:

We want — we need — your input to continue building a truly great alumni network and a strong alumni association.

Tell us how we can better engage you, keep you informed, and motivate you to find the time to be an active part of the UC Davis medical alumni community. If you’re willing to share your thoughts directly, we’d love to have a conversation. Please be in touch at or 916-734-9408.

Finally, to keep informed and up-to-date on things happening at the School of Medicine, watch your email for “News for Alumni from Dean Allison Brashear,” coming to your inbox monthly.

Doug Gross, M.D., President, UC Davis School of Medicine Alumni Association

Doug Gross (M.D., ’90)
President, UC Davis School of Medicine Alumni Association

M.L. Farrell, Director, Alumni Engagement

M.L. Farrell
Director, Alumni Engagement

Connecting when it’s needed most

Alumni Week 2020’s virtual class reunions allowed old friends and acquaintances to share notes about life during a historic time in health care

School of Medicine alumni virtual meeting via Zoom

Class of 1980 Virtual Reunion

Twenty classmates joined our 40th reunion, a remarkable evening of sharing our professional and personal stories — including the diverse ways we all built careers in medicine and in community service.

We talked about our spouses, children, grandchildren, and even a great-grandchild, and about our current lives in retirement, ongoing medical practice, or various combinations of both. We paused to remember and mourn the passing of ten of our classmates. Mike Petersen shared a terrific photomontage from our medical school days. We wished everyone continued good health and safety.

Some of the memories shared:

  • Dave Bressler and Bryna Kane shared our class cookbook, which included many gems as well as Rick Caesar’s recipe for frozen peas (boil, drain and serve).
  • Kay Taylor remembered fondly the start-up of the Women’s Health Clinic and the bake sale to raise funds held by the newly formed Men’s Auxiliary.
  • Jerryl Lynn Rubin remarked how happy she was with the ease with which we all reconnected despite the intervening decades — “a gratifying and meaningful evening for many of us.”

Kindly submitted by Paul Seligman

Class of 1985 Virtual Reunion

Seven classmates participated in an interesting and inspiring call. We are all very active with practice and growing families. We are coping well with COVID and the ever-changing challenges of medicine. We look more mature but are very young in spirit and ideas!

We are mentoring junior colleagues, volunteering in the developing world and leading our health care institutions. We fondly remembered a few classmates who left us too soon but are focused on the future.

Bring on our 40th in 2025!”

Kindly submitted by Regina Gandour-Edwards

Class of 1990 Virtual Reunion

A lot can change in 30 years, but it is also remarkable how much can stay the same. Friendships, shared memories, commonalities in the growth and development of one’s career and other commitments or life’s passions were all quite apparent when a dozen-plus of us from the Class of 1990 reconnected during Alumni Week.

Many recalled stories of the past and how the deep friendships created during our med school days made all the difference for so many. We didn’t want the call to end and have subsequently reconnected again over the holidays!

We hope to continue to widen the circle, so please spread the word and reach out to one of us to join a future call. We wish everyone continued good health, happiness, and safety!

Kindly submitted by Barbara Klencke

Class of 1995 Virtual Reunion

Seven classmates from the Class of 1995 got together virtually for our 25th reunion. Many of us could not believe where we ended up now, both professionally and personally.

We reminisced about living in Davis and then Sacramento, and how much technology had affected our lives. All of us talked about our families and running across classmates that we had seen and kept in touch with over the years. Some of us have had significant health challenges, and none of us thought we would end up battling a pandemic in our careers.

Looking at our class photos was good for some belly laughs

    • Michelle Thomas showed us a glimpse of her beautiful children and how they are her world.
    • Kristin Van Konynenburg talked about her adventures of practicing medicine in Antarctica.
    • Gavi Oliva is now doing administrative work for the VA.
    • Abdul Harris is presently practicing surgery in Fresno, after serving our country in the Iraq War and then practicing in the Santa Rosa area.
    • Sunil Bhopale, Frances Chu, and Lynn Mortensen all work for TPMG (Kaiser) in Northern California.

All of us are suffering from pandemic fatigue but still finding ways to enjoy life, families, and careers. We also felt that Davis really prepared us well for our future careers.

Kindly submitted by Sunil Bhopale

Class of 2010 Virtual Reunion

Fifteen of our former classmates gathered for our 10-year medical school reunion. It was held over Zoom, which was quite convenient and allowed classmates from across the country to attend who otherwise would not have.

We talked about fellowships, marriages, and children most often. Nap schedules, potty training, and virtual kindergarten were top of the conversation list. Babies and young children — the next generation of UCD SOM alumni — frequently wandered in and out of the shots.

We were all thankful for the incredible day of reconnection and the continued good health that we have been fortunate enough to enjoy during these times — and we look forward to an in-person get-together next year.

Kindly submitted by Ryan Spielvogel