UC Davis Emeriti in action

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You're encouraged to join our association for the low price of $25 annually or $200 for a lifetime membership. You may register online here or via mail with this paper form and a check. 

Who we are

Established in 1989, the UC Davis Emeriti Association (UCDEA) was formed to provide retired academics of UC Davis/UCDHS or other UC campuses living in the Davis/Sacramento area with opportunities for continuing interest in and support for the excellence of the University of California, Davis. See About the UCDEA.

What we do

The UCDEA represents UC Davis emeriti/ae and provides the following services and programs for its members:

  • Monitors and advocates for emeriti rights and privileges
  • Provides a way for emeriti/ae to communicate with campus leaders and further participate in campus life
  • Sponsors and plans activities
  • Provides an historical perspective of the Davis campus through the Video Records Program
  • Recognizes emeriti/ae with annual awards
  • Supports the UC Davis Retiree Center

In Memoriam

We sadly note the recent passing of Robert L. Leighton, professor emeritus in Veterinary Surgery and James Lyons, professor emeritus in Vegetable Crops and founding director of the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program. 

Robert L. Leighton

Robert L. Leighton, DVM, died on January 22, 2020; he was one month away from his 103rd birthday. Professor emeritus Leighton joined the veterinary surgical faculty at UC Davis in September 1965, teaching surgery and providing orthopedic surgical care. Although he retired in 1983, he continued teaching orthopedic courses and conducting research for another 25 years, and actively published for over 50 years. As an innovative surgeon, he developed many novel surgical approaches and made improvements on surgical instruments, necessary orthopedic implants, and prosthetic devices. His professional contributions are recognized by awards from the California Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association, UC Davis, the University of Chile, and the University of Pennsylvania. As a lasting legacy of Leighton’s career, his talents and perspectives are noted in an interview with his colleague and friend, professor Murray E. Fowler (date interviewed: 10/16/01).

James M. Lyons

James M. Lyons, emeritus professor of Vegetable crops in the Department of Plant Sciences, died Nov. 9, 2019. He was 90. Professor Lyons contributed to the early research on the role and importance of ethylene in fruit ripening. After graduate training, he joined the vegetable crops faculty at UC Riverside. In 1970, however, he was recruited back to UC Davis as chair of the Vegetable Crops Department. During his tenure at Davis, he also served as assistant dean for Plant Sciences and Pest Management in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. In 1979, Professor Lyons became the founding director of the newly established UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program and Education Program and also served assistant director of the Agricultural Experiment Station. He retired in 1991. A summary of his many accomplishments may be found at In Memoriam: James Lyons. As a legacy to his department, Jim participated in the UCDEA's Video Records Project; click here to see his video. He is interviewed by his friend and colleague, emeritus professor Lawrence Rappaport; (date interviewed: 3/29/2001 ).

Other Emeriti Faculty – In Memoriam

Although video records are not available for following emeriti, we also saddened by the loss of emeritus professors Hans Abplanalp, James Cheney, Richard Cowen, Edwin Frankel, Quirino Paris, and Mas Yamaguchi.

Hans Abplanalp, professor emeritus and former chair in avian science, died peacefully at home on Jan. 15 at the age of 94. He was internationally recognized for his research in poultry genetics. Many facets of his life and career may be found at [https://www.davisenterprise.com/obits/hans-abplanalp]. 

James Cheney joined the UC Davis School of Engineering in 1962 as one of the first faculty members in the Department of Civil Engineering, and the founding director of the Center for Geotechnical Modeling at UC Davis. Professor Cheney died on Nov. 22, 2019, at home in Davis. He was 92 years old. Many facets of his life and career may be found at [https://www.davisenterprise.com/obits/dr-james-addison-cheney].

Richard Cowen, senior lecturer emeritus in Geology, died January 8. 2020 at the age of 80. His early paleontology research focused on the functional morphology of several extinct and living invertebrate animals. His later research focused on dinosaurs and the origin of flight as they evolved into birds.  In addition to his research and many teaching activities, he served as Co-Editor of Paleobiology, the premier journal of the Paleontological Society (1988-90). He also served as chair of both the Department of Geology and the Department of Geography A summary of his efforts may be found at [https://geology.ucdavis.edu/people/inmemoriam/cowen].
Edwin N. Frankel, adjunct professor emeritus in Food Science and Technology, passed away on Nov. 20, 2019, at home in Davis. He was 91. Emeritus professor Frankel specialized in lipid oxidation and antioxidants in foods and biological systems. His research included lipid oxidation in foods, vegetable oil, and fish oils. Among his many honors are research awards from the Society of Medical Friends of Wine, the International Society for Fat Research, 21st World Congress, and the American Oil Chemists' Society S. S. Chang Award. His work was highly cited; for example, in 2003-05, his rate of citation placed in the top 10 for those researching agriculture (The Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). his life and career may be found at [https://foodscience.ucdavis.edu/people/edwin-frankel]

Quirino Paris, emeritus professor of Agricultural Economics, passed away at his home on Oct. 12, 2019. He was 85. Professor Paris was appointed into Agricultural economics in 1969. He made contributions in areas relevant to microeconomics, mathematical economics, econometrics, and mathematical programming. His efforts are acknowledged by awards that include the Quality of Research Discovery Award from the American Agricultural Economics Association. He was also honored as a Fellow of the American Agricultural Economics Association. Other details of his life and career may be found at: [https://are.ucdavis.edu/department/news/2019/12/9/quirino-paris-academicians-academic/?category=memoriam]

Mas Yamaguchi, emeritus professor with Vegetable Crops, died peacefully on Oct. 3 at the age of 101. Professor Yamaguchi authored and co-authored over 100 research articles and seminal books associated with his long and highly productive association with Vegetable Crops, Department of Plant Sciences. Other details of his life and career may be found at [https://www.davisenterprise.com/obits/mas-yamaguchi]. 

Recent Interviews

Lawrence J. Bass, MD, FAAD; Emeritus professor Bass is the founding chair of the Department of Dermatology, joining the faculty in the School of Medicine in 1973. He retired from UC Davis in 1982 to enter private practice. He is best known for his community health and clinical efforts. Colleagues have recognized him with awards, including the “Best Doctors in Sacramento” award, the Medical Honor Award, and the American Academy of Dermatology’s Gold Circle of Volunteerism Award. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. He is interviewed by his colleague, Dr. Sam Hwang, Professor and current chair of the Department of Dermatology at the UC Davis School of Medicine. https://video.ucdavis.edu/media/488+Bass/0_jj8y2jhq

Dr. John C (Jack) Palmer; Emeritus professor Palmer joined the faculty in the Urology, School of Medicine in 1970. He was a key player in establishing the UC Davis School of Medicine as a leader in clinical medicine (e.g., the UC Davis School of Medicine is currently ranked as one of the ten best in the nation for primary care training). Dr. Palmer was the founding chair of the Department of Urology and served as chair from 1970 to 1984. He retired in 2000. His clinical and research interests are in the areas of urologic and pediatric oncology, renal transplantation, and urinary tract infections. He is interviewed by his friend and colleague, Ernest Lewis, emeritus professor of Urology and emeritus associate dean of the School of Medicine. https://video.ucdavis.edu/media/489+Palmer.mp4/0_31s2bo88

The Video Records Project has been creating an oral history of the UC Davis campus for about twenty years and will soon post its 500th interview. Accordingly, we hope that you will arrange for an interview to provide perspectives and information not only for your department but for families and friends as well. The process is easy to initiate. First, contact the UC Davis Retiree Center, and they, in turn, will connect you with a scheduler. Additional information may be found on the video records link.

See UCDEA Video Records Project for More Details 

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