Since 1993, the UCDEA Video Records Project has been creating an oral history of the UC Davis campus by recording interviews of emeriti/ae as well as others who have made significant contributions to the development of the university. These interviews take the form of a recorded conversation between the interviewee and one of his/her friends and/or colleagues. More than 470 interviews have been recorded to date (Spring 2018). All new emeriti/ae are encouraged to arrange for an interview.
Interview videos are shown regularly on the Davis Community TV (DCTV) cable channel, and may be streamed from their website.
DVDs of the Video Records Committee interviews through 2017 are on file in Special Collections, Shields Library. The Special Collections Reference Desk, which is on the Main Floor of the Library. Please consult the Reference Desk to check out a tape for viewing.
Reference Desk Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Monday through Friday
Reference Desk Phone: (530) 752-1621
Beginning in 2017, the committee has worked to post the interviews to the AggieVideo website. Use the "Search" feature in the upper right corner to find a recent video by last name. The List of Video Records Interviews is updated quarterly.
We note the passing of William Lotter, whose 41-year career at UC Davis (1952-1993) had a profound impact on the direction of the campus’ athletic programs. Professor Lotter died on May 20, 2019, at the age of 94. His outstanding career included coaching football (1954, 1956-57, 1959-63), baseball (1953-58), track and field (1960-62), men’s tennis (1968-78) and men’s soccer (1972-87). His soccer team went to four NCAA postseason berths in his first five years as coach. Along with Alan Moll, he also coordinated the effort that led to the Will Lotter Soccer Facility. Professor Lotter is also recognized for his humanitarian efforts. He spent two tears in Malawi where he was the country director for the Peace Corps. With his wife Jane, he devoted much of the past 50 years focused on social justice issues, especially for victims of Central American violence. Will and Jane Lotter are co-founders of the Davis Religious Community for Sanctuary. As testaments to his impact are awards that include induction into the Cal Aggie Athletics Hall of Fame, UCD King Law School Martin Luther King Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award, the City of Davis Peace and Justice Award, City of Davis Humanitarian of the Year Award, and UC Davis Educational Opportunity Program Service Award. He will be missed. Many of his perspectives are noted in his 1998 UC Davis Emeriti Association video records interview (Interview 86) with his friend Professor Thomas L. Allen (Chemistry).
We also note the passing of Andrzej Brzeski, professor emeritus of economics at UC Davis. Professor Brzesk died on Aug.11, 2019. He was 93. As a young man, Professor Brzesk served in the underground Home Army under the Polish government-in-exile and was imprisoned by Soviet forces for nearly two years prior to his released in 1946. He was the sole survivor of his family at age 15. He studied economics at the Catholic University of Lublin, the University of Lodz and the Central School of Planning and Statistics in Warsaw. In 1958, he received a Ford Foundation fellowship to study at UC Berkeley, where he earned a doctorate in economics. His thesis was awarded the Norman Buchanan Memorial Prize in Economics. He started his career at UC Davis in 1963 and retired in 1991, During his career, he contributed to a large body of work, which focuses communism and post-communism economic systems. His books include: The Post-communist Economic Transformation: Essays In Honor Of Gregory Grossman, A Liberating Economic Journey: Post-Communist Transition - Essays in Honour of Ljubo, and Poland as a catalyst of change in the communist economic system. He has also served on advisory panels, such as the Centre for Research in Post-communist Economics and the Adam Smith Research Centre (Warsaw). Many of his perspectives are noted in his 2006 video records interview (Interview 58) with his friend Professor Leon Wegge (Economics).
We are saddened by the death of Professor emeritus Winston Ko, who died while hiking with his family in the Big Sur area. Professor emeritus Ko's career at UC Davis was truly distinguished and impactful. He joined the faculty in physics in 1970 as an assistant research physicist and was appointed into the professorial series in 1972. He specialized in experimental particle physics. ResearchGate, a social networking site for scientists and researchers, lists over 600 papers for which he is associated and a citation index that places professor emeritus Ko’s work in the top 0.5 to 1.0 percent of those publishing in areas relevant to particle physics. Likewise, his service to the university was distinguished with world-wide impact. He served as a chair for the Physics Department from 1998 to 2003. He was an assistant vice provost for Academic Planning and Personnel. From 2003 to his retirement in 2014, he served as the College of Letters and Sciences Dean for the division of mathematical and physical sciences. For the UC Davis Emeriti and Retiree Associations, he was a member at large on the Emeriti Association's executive committee. He was also active in the Davis community, serving on a committee drafting one of the city's general plans in the 1970s. He was a founder and elder in the Davis Chinese Christian Church. Many of his perspectives are noted in his UC Davis Emeriti Association's video records interview with Professor Alexandra Navrotsky (Chemistry). A memorial website has been set up for those wishing to post tributes. A memorial service is planned for the fall. Memorial gifts can be made to the UC Davis Foundation-Winston Ko Memorial Fund.
Evelyn Lewis, professor emerita of the School of Law, was appointed in 1989 and retired in 2016. Her scholarship includes very insightful work on family dynamics in jointly owned property and proprietorial interests in charitable assets. Moreover, professor Lewis is an exceptional teacher. She was noted for her ability to guide students through the complexities of formulating transactional contracts and regulatory documents designed to address existing legal problems, as well as prevent potential future problems. For such efforts, she was honored in 2012 as the recipient of the Law School’s Distinguished Teaching Award. She is interviewed by her friend and colleague, Joel Dobris, professor emeritus of the School of Law.
Centennial DVD Project
As part of the commemoration of UC Davis’ centennial in 2010, Professor Emeritus Verne Mendel compiled many of the Video Records Project interviews — organized by college, school, or department — to create 23 DVD’s. He was awarded the Edward A. Dickson Emeriti Professorship Award in 2008 for this project. Centennial DVDs may be viewed in the Special Collections section of Shields Library.
About the Committee
The primary objective of the Video Records Committee is to record for posterity, interviews of emeriti/ae and distinguished retired members of the UC Davis campus. Additional information, including the current Charge and committee members can be found on the Standing Committees > Video Records Committee page.
The Video History Project is comprised solely of volunteers. Opportunities abound and training can be provided.
- Schedulers: Schedule interviews, working with the Interviewee, Interviewer, and Videographers.
- Videographers/Editors: Learn to record in a professional-style studio and edit video with Adobe NLE editing software (will train!!).
- Administrative: recruit candidates for interview, review and comment on draft video interviews.
If interested, please contact the UCDEA Video Records Committee via the UC Davis Retiree Center.