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UC Davis Scholarships

The Doris Day/Terry Melcher Scholarship at the University of California at Davis School of  Veterinary Medicine is awarded to students pursuing education in veterinary shelter medicine and helping disadvantaged pet populations.


2017 Doris Day/Terry Melcher Scholarship recipient Sarah Williams

The Doris Day Animal Foundation endowed the scholarship in memory of Doris' son, Terry Melcher, and to honor the professionals at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. The scholarship will be awarded annually, in perpetuity, to outstanding veterinary students working to improve the welfare of homeless animals.

"I am so grateful to the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine for the care and attention to my animals over the years," Doris Day said.  "The veterinarians and staff are miracle workers, and I'm delighted that our gift will help train future veterinarians. I am also enthusiastic about the school's Koret Shelter Medicine Program and its efforts to improve the health of animals in shelters waiting for new, loving homes."

The UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program at the School of Veterinary Medicine advances shelter medicine as a veterinary specialty through research, specialty training and education, and the performance of veterinary service in animal shelters. Veterinary students studying shelter medicine learn how to enhance the quality of life of animals in shelters through improvements in veterinary preventive medicine and management of disease.

The first Doris Day and Terry Melcher Scholarship was presented in May 2007 to senior veterinary student Christi Payne from Palo Alto, Calif.

Melcher, a singer and songwriter, died of melanoma in 2004. He had helped run the Doris Day Animal Foundation, established in 1978 to aid animals and the people who care for them.


2017 Doris Day/Terry Melcher Scholarship recipient Alison Gerken

Over the years, Melcher and his mother often traveled to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at UC Davis seeking care for sick animals. The teaching hospital is named in honor of William R. Pritchard, dean emeritus of the School of Veterinary Medicine. After Melcher's death, friends and supporters of the Doris Day Animal Foundation donated money in his memory to be used to improve the welfare of animals. See the UC Davis website for more program information.

Our 2017 Winners 

The School of Veterinary Medicine at University of California, Davis, recently announced the 2017 recipients of the Doris Day and Terry Melcher Scholarship are Alison Gerken and Sarah Williams. Both women are active in on- and off-campus activities related to shelter medicine.

Gerken's primary interests are animal behavior and animal welfare. She recently completed an externship with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in New York City.  She plans to pursue board certification by the American College of Animal Welfare after her graduation this year.

Williams, a member of the class of 2018, worked as a veterinary technician, in both private practice and in a shelter clinic, and has volunteered with several low-cost/free spay/neuter clinics. She is interested in working in communities with poor access to veterinary care, and hopes to educate her patients' families about behavior, health and overpopulation issues. She states her goal is, "to improve the lives of humans through improving the lives of animals."