Veterinary School Alumna Honored with UC Davis Medal

Pam Rohrich and Karl Gerdes
UC Davis Medal recipients Karl Gerdes and Pam Rohrich

Veterinary School Alumna Honored with UC Davis Medal

From UC Davis News

UC Davis Medals will be presented this spring to two alumni couples — Jacque and Wayne Bartholomew, and Pam Rohrich and Karl Gerdes — each pair having met as students and committing not only to each other but their alma mater.

The UC Davis Medal recognizes “extraordinary contributions that embody the campus’ Vision of Excellence.” Winners inspire and support the success of students, faculty, staff and alumni, and foster a bold and innovative spirit in teaching, research and public service.

“Jacque and Wayne Bartholomew, Pam Rohrich and Karl Gerdes exemplify Aggie spirit in action and are truly deserving of UC Davis’ highest honor,” said Chancellor Gary S. May. “Their many years of service, expertise and philanthropy have elevated UC Davis to greater heights, benefiting student scholarships, UC Davis Health, the arts, Athletics, the Arboretum and so much more.”

Rohrich and Gerdes credit their Aggie educations with helping them launch their careers in veterinary medicine and engineering. Pam earned a master’s degree in psychology in 1974 and Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1983. Karl did his graduate studies in chemical engineering, earning a master’s in 1973 and Ph.D. in 1984.

“UC Davis gave us our careers, and has given us friends, community, entertainment, food for thought, and just played a big role in who we are,” said Pam, who spent her career as a veterinarian working with the East Bay SPCA in Oakland.

In addition to supporting their respective colleges, the couple has invested in Intercollegiate Athletics, CAAA, the arts and student scholarships. They have been active members of the Davis Chancellor’s Club since 1993.

Karl is chair of the Davis Chancellor’s Club, in addition to serving on the UC Davis Foundation Board and Global Campaign Leadership Council. He has also served two terms on the CAAA board of directors. He was recognized with the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Medal in 1999 for professional accomplishments and service to the College of Engineering, and he was awarded CAAA’s Jerry W. Fielder Award in 2003.

“We hope our gifts will make education accessible to future students and allow them to have the opportunity to establish their life and career,” Karl said. Pam added that they would feel incredibly rewarded if they could help just one person fulfill their potential.

Karl spent 40 years as a technical specialist for Chevron and served 36 years on the research committee of the trade organization GPA Midstream, the association of the natural gas processing industry, chairing it from 2008 until he retired from the association in 2021. Karl was recognized with the GPA Midstream Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.

The UC Davis Medal announcement came as a surprise to the now-retired couple.

“When I got the phone call from Chancellor May, I was gobsmacked — just floored,” Karl said. “It's incredibly humbling to be named among the list of people who have received this recognition.

“We have happily engaged with and supported the university and hope to do so for many more years to come, hopefully inspiring students coming out to be able to pay it forward when they have the opportunity.”

Read more from UC Davis News about Jacque and Wayne Bartholomew.


Ashley Han is a communications specialist in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, She can be reached at 530-754-2047 or

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