UC Davis Medal

About the UC Davis Medal 

The UC Davis Medal is the highest honor the University presents to individuals in recognition of extraordinary contributions that embody the campus’s Vision of Excellence. Medalists inspire and support the success and engagement of our students, faculty, staff and alumni, and foster a bold and innovative spirit in teaching, research and public service.

History and Description

The UC Davis Medal recognizes individuals of rare accomplishment, “to be heralded today and in perpetuity,” as extraordinarily special members of the UC Davis community.

The design of the UC Davis Medal represents, both figuratively and literally, the legacy of contributions UC Davis has made to the world in research and scholarly endeavors.

Depicted on the medal are the campus name and its motto, “Let There Be Light.” In the upper left quadrant are the life-giving rays of the sun. Below them, leaves of the bay laurel symbolize our proud history of achievement. Lines in the lower right quadrant may be seen as energy radiating from a source, roads leading to the future, or rows of crops in fertile California fields.

The spare, relatively unadorned design, which employs an official campus typeface, Futura, is timeless and distinctive. Jan Conroy, Class of 1977, designed the medal during his long career in university graphics, publications and communications. Jan retired in 2012.

Medal Protocol (PDF)



Drs. Darryl and Lois Goss


Lois and Darryl Goss

Lois and Darryl Goss, UC Davis alumni who met while students in the early 1980s, are long-time ambassadors of the university and dedicated volunteers. Darryl, who was an Aggie star football player, received his BA in African American Studies (1983) while Lois, who played basketball, received her BA in Sociology (1985). The Goss’ attribute their success at Davis in large part to the Special Transition Enrichment Program (STEP), which gave them “the confidence to succeed in a competitive and racially homogenous academic environment.” An acquisitions and investment consultant for healthcare and technology companies, Darryl (MBA Chicago) previously served as CEO of Inform Diagnostics, a leading anatomic pathology laboratory, and as president of Sigma-Aldrich SAFC Hitech. The couple have demonstrated sustained commitment to the community and students it serves. As Chair of the Chancellor’s Advisory Council (2013-18), Darryl led volunteer efforts to draw additional membership and organize the group. He has been active on the Athletics Advisory Council and has served as a trustee on the UC Davis Foundation Board. Lois has been a member of the Davis Chancellor’s Club Committee and actively sought to expand volunteer and philanthropic support there. She is an inaugural member of the university’s Women in Philanthropy program, and has been an integral member of the College of Letters and Science Dean’s Advisory Council. More recently, she joined the trustees of the UC Davis Foundation Board. The couple established the Goss Family Endowment to support African American studies at Davis, followed by their creation of the university’s first endowed chair in African American Studies, the Austin and Arutha Goss Presidential Chair. They contributed to the building of the Ann E. Pitzer Center Pitzer Classroom and the Music Recital Hall.  


Past Honorees