The Chemistry Building is home to the Chemistry department. There is Peter A. Rock Hall formerly 194 Chemistry, one of the largest lecture halls on campus, the main chemistry building, and the Annex. The main building is all rooms with three numbers, the annex has four. Do not fall for the line that professors sometimes give to the freshmen- "My office is on the thirty-fourth floor of the chem annex."

Take the elevator in the main building at your own risk. It hasn't been checked in years and people get stuck in there all the time. You'll be in there for about five minutes. Ten if you are in the service elevator.

There is a chemistry museum on the third floor. It is basically a glass case with old apparatuses. There is a couch on the fifth floor of the annex.


The Chemistry Building was completed in 1965.

There was a fire in the building in the Power Group laboratory. Smelled really bad for the next few days. But they got a pretty new lab for their trouble! The fire department comes to the building at least once a month as it is.

There used to be a professor in the Chemistry Department who invented a surfing product called "Sex Wax." The story that he would tell his students is that he made truck loads of money from the patent on the wax. He got a divorce from his wife and the judge ordered him to pay her half of his salary as a professor. Since he was already rich and just liked teaching, he arranged it with the university to pay him an annual salary of $1. He would brag to his students that every year he would write his ex-wife a check for 50 cents. He died around 2002. Can anybody fill in this story, or the name of the professor?

I wasn't aware that Nate Skinner worked at UC Davis. Urban Legend alert? Fact Check at

  • The Professor in question is Dr. Timothy Donnelly. I talked to him about this a good 15 years ago, and he said he worked on it, but not that he invented it. I wouldn't be surprised if it had made him rich. He had a personal jet, and apparently enough wealth to be able to dabble in things that interested him. He also invented a ski wax called "Super Hot Sauce", which apparently was quite a revolution in that industry as well. —RogerClark
  • Wow....I was wondering what had happened to Dr. Donnelly. That's really sad to hear (about him dying). I can confirm the story, at least to the extent that one of his grad students told me the same story many years ago. Dr. Donnelly was an outstanding professor. He really seemed to care about the students, and he did a lot of work to help the students that went well beyond what he needed to for class. For example, he made a series of videos to teach the Chem 2 series that you could check out at the Hart Hall Media Lab. Another story that we heard from that grad student was that he used to fly his jet (shared with another professor?) into Davis Airport from San Jose. The grad student said that they would navigate using the smog, rather than instruments, to find their way here. —IDoNotExist
  • According to his obit from April 7, 2003 in the SF Gate, he was "survived by his wife of 33 years, Linda Donnelly." And his parents. He died at 55 of a heart attack.


A nice guy named Richard Scown works in the dispensary, and is the one who prepares all the reagents and experiments. He's from Tennessee. Henry Sanchez works in the Stockroom - He is a proud Screaming Eagle of the 101st Airborne Div.


The department holds seminars every week. They bring in speakers from around the country to talk on just about everything chemical related. Check the colorful fliers posted on the chem department wall for upcoming speakers. There also have cookies and bad coffee before these events. Everyone is welcome. [It would be nice if they were advertised; the chemistry department is one of the most secretive...]


Unless you're taking the Chemistry 2 series, your labs will be here in the chem building. Remember to bring your goggles the first day or they will make you go and buy them at the Silo Bookstore, or the MU UC Davis Bookstore. And do your TA a favor, and read your lab manual before you get to lab.