In Living Color

A new exhibit at Shields Library celebrates student life on campus through the years.

Campus is reawakening as students return this fall, and student life is back in bloom. A new exhibit, now permanently installed at Shields Library, celebrates student life at UC Davis with color photography from the 1970s to the present era.

From Picnic Day to athletic events, hands-on learning to cultural performances, these photographs from the UC Davis Library’s University Archives remind us what it means to be an Aggie.

Explore more of the exhibit on the library’s website or at Shields Library (first floor, hanging along the corridor facing the Library Courtyard), or learn how you can help the library digitize more historical photos of campus.

Let the Good Times Roll

Unitrans student employees have kept this town moving since 1967, when UC Davis purchased its first two double-decker buses from the London Transport System — and they’ve always known how to have fun. (Photo: 2001)

Grape Expectations

In the 1984 Picnic Day parade, students in UC Davis’ top-ranked viticulture and enology program joined the festivities as roller-skating grapes.


Celebrating nearly 25 years as a women’s collegiate sport on campus, lacrosse is now one of 16 sports with women’s teams at UC Davis. (Photo: 2003)


The Chemistry Magic Show has long been one of the most popular events of Picnic Day. (Photo: 2003)

Classical Indian Dance

Student dancers thank the Earth for accommodating the stamping of their feet during Asian Pacific Culture Night. (Photo: 2014)

Joy in Mudville

Two students pause during Ooze Ball (mud pit volleyball), popular during Picnic Day in the 1980s and ’90s. (Photo: 1989)

Self Reflections

Students take photos of the view (and each other) during a Middle East / South Asian (MESA) Solidarity Retreat at Bodega Bay. (Photo: 2014)

Can Can Girls

Students showcase the campus’s early commitment to recycling during the 1974 Picnic Day parade.

Ballet Folklórico

Established at UC Davis in 1977, Danzantes del Alma is a student folklórico dance troupe that celebrates traditional and contemporary Mexican, Chicanx and Latinx performing arts. (Photo: 2011)

Living Traditions

Two workshop participants make rattles during Native American Culture Week. (Photo: 2015)

Great and Small

Students and instructors of the School of Veterinary Medicine (now ranked No. 1 in the United States, according to the 2021 QS World University Rankings) work with a mother and foal. (Photo: 1988)