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Pete Scully Captures the Transformation of Historic Walker Hall, Home of the Future Graduate Center

Pete Scully - Panoramic Sketch of Walker Hall
Thursday, November 1, 2018 - 12:00am

A Work in Progress: Sketches of Walker Hall

If you've spent time in the center of the Davis campus recently, chances are you've noticed the construction taking place between the library and the Student Community Center.  After years of planning, UC Davis is renovating historic Walker Hall into the long-awaited Graduate Center, which will accommodate a variety of services and organizations for UC Davis graduate student and postdoctoral scholars. 

Members of the campus community have been taking photos and videos of the project's progress, but one UC Davis staff member has documented the transformation by putting pen and paint to paper. 

Pete Scully's sketch of the back of Walker Hall as it appeared in 2016.

Our Very Own Urban Sketcher

Pete Scully, an avid urban sketcher, is no stranger to drawing UC Davis scenes. Scully's blog and Instagram are filled with his sketches of both the campus' most well-known sights as well as numerous hidden gems. In 2016, the UC Davis Design Museum hosted a special exhibition called “Conversations with the City” featuring 30 of Pete’s sketchbooks from 2006-2016. Scully sketches on location almost daily, often spending his lunch break with a hardbound book and a pencil. 

Pete Scully, urban sketcher and management services officer for the Department of Statistics at UC Davis.

A management services officer for the Department of Statistics, Scully served as a graduate program coordinator for the statistics and biostatistics graduate programs for eleven years and has maintained a keen interest in graduate education at UC Davis.

But even before the new intent for Walker Hall was announced, he found himself drawn to the 1920s-era structure. 

"I’ve always been interested in the building because of its shape and color, and also its history," Scully said, noting its past life as the home of the UC Davis Design Museum. "I was sorry to see it empty and unused for so long so when (former vice provost and dean) Jeffrey Gibeling announced it was to be redeveloped into the new home of Graduate Studies with more space and facilities for graduate students I was very excited to see the plans."

Gibeling, who served as vice provost of graduate education and dean of Graduate Studies from 2002 to 2016, suggested that Scully sketch the building's transformation. "I did a few sketches to capture it as it was, and then when the building work began this summer I did some more." 

In September, Scully published half a dozen sketches of the building in various states of construction. The building is targeting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification, which will require the renovation to consider sustainable sourcing and the reuse of materials. The project is expected to be completed in late 2019.

View more of Pete Scully's sketches on his blog.

For Scully, the renovation of Walker Hall is the culmination of years of conversation and planning about how to better serve the graduate student community. "I was a graduate coordinator for over a decade, for Statistics and Biostatistics, and even in my current role I still feel like it’s worth advocating for graduate study on campus, so to have a more dedicated center will be an important way for UC Davis to show it cares about grad students."

To learn more about the Graduate Center at historic Walker Hall, visit the Graduate Studies special projects page.

About Graduate Studies at UC Davis

Graduate Studies at UC Davis includes over 100 dynamic degree programs and a diverse and interactive student body from around the world. Known for our state-of-the-art research facilities, productive laboratories and progressive spirit – UC Davis offers collaborative and interdisciplinary curricula through graduate groups and designated emphasis options, bringing students and faculty of different academic disciplines together to address real-world challenges.

UC Davis graduate students and postdoctoral scholars become leaders in their fields: researchers, teachers, politicians, mentors and entrepreneurs. They go on to guide, define and impact change within our global community.

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