C. John Tupper, founding dean, formed the forerunner of the alumni association. It was called HAAFUCDMS-Honorary Alumni Association for the University of California Davis Medical School.

It consisted of a group of physicians in private practice in the Greater Sacramento Region who supported the School of Medicine, often as directors of clinical services at the medical center or officers in the local medical societies.

Primarily acting as advisors to the dean and the medical students, they provided the Plane Tree, supposedly from the area in Greece where Socrates taught. It now grows in the Quad of the Medical School on Campus.

This group also initiated welcoming meetings for the first class and passed a symbolic torch to the first graduating class as "true alumni". Given that the new alumni were beginning their residency, tentative plans for this new alumni association and its activities were sporadic.
An organizational meeting was held in June, where it was decided that graduates of the medical school, teaching faculty and the housestaff of the then Sacramento Medical Center would automatically become members of the alumni association. Because of the small number of graduates, a decision was made to include faculty and all graduates of training programs at UC Davis Medical Center.
In conjunction with HAAFUCDMS, a breakfast and awards ceremony were held for the Class of 1974 at Sutter Memorial Hospital.
With encouragement from Dean Hibbard Williams, a new Board of Directors for the UC Davis School of Medicine Alumni Association was appointed. The Board submitted a formal letter to then Chancellor Meyer requesting approval to form an alumni association.
The board met for their first organizational meeting in April. Wisely, the board reaffirmed the membership, discussed student aide, education, a newsletter, and career counseling committees. In June, the first reunion was held. In the same month, the Alumni Association was granted formal recognition - hence marking the official beginning of the Alumni Association.

The mission statement that was created and still holds today is the following:

Foster communication between alumni of the UC Davis School of Medicine, alumni of UC Davis Medical Center residency programs, faculty, housestaff, and students.

  1. Foster and encourage the pursuit of excellence in medicine.
  2. Utilize the Alumni Association network as a source of influence in support of the interests of the UC Davis School of Medicine and Medical Center.
  3. Utilize the UC Davis School of Medicine and Medical Center as a source of support and as a resource for the alumni.
  4. Promote communication between the UC Davis School of Medicine Alumni Association and the Cal Aggie Alumni Association for mutual benefit.

    Original intent of the Alumni Association was to be:
  • Self directed, not an arm of the hospital, school or administration
  • Not a mailing list for solicitation nor donor base
  • Not a social club
The formation of the alumni association occurred at a time of great turmoil in the alumni association at Stanford Medical School. When students, but not alumni, were appointed to the review board for the selection of a new dean, the Stanford Alumni Association went into near rebellion.

Given this climate, the dean's office recognized the need for close relationships with the alumni and its strengths as both an advisory body as well an advocate for the institution. With the growth of the alumni group as well as the responsibilities of the association, every attempt was made to expand programs to allow the greatest number of alumni to be directly involved and participate in the programs.
Beginning in 1983, the alumni association began to co-host with Bob Hunter, Professor Emeritus, and Human Anatomy Professor incoming receptions for new freshmen in his backyard. These programs eventually moved to the University Club, as an annual responsibility of the Alumni Association. Coffee mugs with the Class of xx on the front were gifts from the alumni association, in an attempt to foster early interest in the association by students.

Social activities were intended primarily to have the dean and officers of the Alumni Association meet with former students, to draw them to the association.

Meetings at the CMA or other national meetings had a two-fold mission:
  • A meeting local for the faculty, dean and alumni out of town
  • A showcase for the institution
The concept of student scholarships was discussed at the very first organizational meeting of the board. A scholarship program was established and a fundraising program was built to support scholarship efforts. In 1988 a single scholarship of $500 was awarded. In 2003, seven $5,000 scholarships were granted, and in 2005, nine $6,000 scholarships were awarded.

The first distinguished Alumnus/a Award was presented in 1988, primarily to recognize academic achievements of a graduate.

2007 Reginald Low, M.D.
2006 Garen Wintemute, M.D., M.P.H.
2005 David Kilmer, M.D.
2004 R. Steven Tharratt, M.D., M.P.V.M
2003 Lloyd Smith, M.D., M.P.H.
2002 Robert Wiebe, M.D.
2001 Edward Yeh, M.D.
2000 Jeffrey Tanji, M.D.
1999 Amparo Villablanca, M.D.
1998 Kenneth Facter, M.D.
1997 Thomas Nesbitt, M.D.
1996 David Wisner, M.D.
1995 Timothy Albertson, M.D.
1994 Steven Edelman, M.D.
1993 Fred Meyers, M.D.
1992 Robin Hansen, M.D.
1991 Dennis Devereux, M.D.
1990 John Longhurst, M.D.
1989 Daniel O'Connor, M.D
1988 Janice Phillips Dutcher, M.D.
Soon after, the Board realized that many alumni are in non-academic areas of medicine where they perform outstanding service to their community or society in general. Hence, the Humanitarian Award was created and awarded in 1991.

2007 Joan Baumer, M.D.
2006 John Chuck, M.D.
2005 Alan Kelley, M.D.
2004 Carolyn Shepherd, M.D.
2003 Martin Anderson, M.D.
2002 Bruce Greenberg, M.D.
2001 Paul Hom, M.D.
2000 Unable to locate
1999 Balazs Bodai, M.D.
1998 Tim Marten, M.D.
1997 Jon Andrus,M.D.
1996 Herbert Bauer, M.D.
1995 Neil Flynn, M.D.
1994 Patricia Samuelson, M.D.
1993 Salmon Paul Daniels, M.D.
1992 Milburn Mar, M.D.
1991 Antonio Velasco, M.D.
Simultaneously, the Alumni Association wanted to raise money for a chair. The major problem was deciding for which department a chair should be funded. No agreement was reached with the existing departments - this would mean a win/loss situation. A consensus was reached funding a Bioethics Program chair. This was prompted by the noted lack of hard money and that an academic FTE could be assigned as a professor of bioethics, a win/win situation. From 1992-1995 $2.4 was raised from alumni and faculty, using a unique method of funding philanthropic activities through life insurance. In March 1996, Dr. Erich Loewy was appointed chair of the program.
The Alumni Association established a Web site. The Web site featured an alumni database, an on-line newsletter, registration for events, class notes, and newsgroup. The Web site since its unveiling has undergone changes and improvements and has new features in efforts to assist our constituency.
The Alumni Association gets its own e-mail address, medalumni@ucdavis.edu.
The UC Davis House Staff Professionalism Award, was created in 2002 by the School of Medicine Alumni Association to recognize and honor a resident identified by his/her co-workers and ancillary staff for exemplifying the attributes of professionalism. The American Board of Internal Medicine defines professionalism as one who "aspires to altruism, accountability, excellence, duty, service, honor, integrity, and respect for others."

2007 James Silverthorn, M.D.
2006 Jeffrey Southard, M.D.
2006 Mojca Konia, M.D.
2005 David Deyhimy, M.D.
2004 Sarah Pirio Richardson, M.D.
2003 Kristen Vandewalker, M.D.
2003 Melissa McCall, M.D.
2002 John Martin, M.D.
The SOM Alumni Association sponsors the following events:

  1. Welcome Reception for the incoming school of medicine class
  2. Welcome Breakfast for the incoming house staff and fellows
  3. Alumni Reunions
  4. RiverCats Event
  5. Scholarship Fund
  6. House Staff Professionalism Award
  7. Distinguished Alumnus and Humanitarian Awards
  8. We also support a variety of student programs: AMSA events, student lunches and dinners, and the senior class yearbook.

The Transformational Leadership Award was created in 2007.
The recipient of the Transformational Leadership Award is an alumna/us of the UC Davis School of Medicine or Medical Center whose professional achievements and contributions have enhanced the profession, improved the welfare of the general public, provided for personal distinction and brought honor to her/his alma mater.

2007 Ellen Feigal, M.D.

The Clinical Fellow Professionalism Award, was created in 2008 by the School of Medicine Alumni Association to recognize and honor a clinical fellow identified by his/her co-workers and ancillary staff for exemplifying the attributes to professionalism. The American Board of Internal Medicine defines professionalism as one who "aspires to altruism, accountability, excellence, duty, service, honor, integrity, and respect for others." Below is a summary of past Clinical Fellow Professionalism Award recipients:
2008 Rafael Rodriguez, M.D.

Click to download UC Davis School of Medicine Alumni Association Award Recipients