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Body Donation Program

Body Donation Program

Annual Donor Memorial Service

Each year, the second year medical students organize a memorial service to honor the donors of the past year and show their gratitude to the families of the donors. Over 200 family members, friends, faculty, and students attend this annual service of appreciation. The service generally includes a secular vigil and dedication ceremony, speakers from the medical school, and informal opportunities for families of donors to speak with medical students. Families of donors who have died in the year prior to the memorial service are invited to attend, however all families and friends of individuals who have donated themselves to the program are welcome to attend each year.


It is not uncommon for the students to write notes and poems of appreciation in honor of the once-living individuals who have enabled the students to learn about anatomy and had a powerful impact on their lives. Students also leave flowers and other offerings of appreciation with the donors at the end of the anatomy course.



Donor Memorial Site

A donor memorial site was created to provide family and friends of those who have donated their bodies to medical science a place to visit and remember their loved ones.  The site is located at the main campus in Davis, CA. The memorial site was installed with funds from medical students and the School of Medicine in the spring of 2000. The site consists of a bench with a plaque stating “In memory of those who have gifted their earthly remains to the School of Medicine, UC Davis, for the advancement of medical education and research. - Dedicated by the Class of 2002.”


Map and directions to the donor memorial site (PDF)