@UCSD: An Alumni Publication

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Up Front May 2004: Volume 1, Number 2
   

Letter from the Publisher

This issue launches the second year of @UCSD and we are delighted to have restarted a dialogue with you. Your responses have been very positive. Membership has recently grown by almost 40 percent, event attendance more than doubled, and alumni giving increased in both gross totals and number of donors.

What’s most exciting is we are getting a similar response from undergraduates. In increasing numbers, they’re telling us they want more spirit and stronger traditions. They crave a greater sense of community and connection to UCSD’s history. The discussion is so loud, that during her first month on the job, Chancellor Marye Anne Fox named a commission to evaluate undergraduate student life. We are proud that three alumni, including co-chair Joseph Leventhal, ’99, serve on this committee.

The point is, amidst this clamor, students are asking for more alumni interaction.

More than ever, students seek career internships—in San Diego, near home during summer, or other places. This past year, we reinstated alumni career industry panels and the response was so overwhelming that, at one event, the fire marshall made us turn students away. This year, we are searching for alumni expertise in all industries to serve as panelists and informational interviewers. Preuss School students need mentors. The student life study is assembling regional feedback groups. The new Alumni Leadership Scholarship seeks application readers and interviewers. Our regional and affinity chapter leaders are looking for local event assistance. Alumni are needed to convince admitted students to choose UCSD. Annual state budget cuts point out the desperate need for alumni to ask their Sacramento legislators to maintain critical UC funding. Student debt is at an all-time high, so scholarship gifts of all sizes are more important than ever. Most of these activities are available to alumni, wherever you live.

You see, this is what we do. This is what we need.

This year, we will celebrate the commencement of UCSD’s 100,000th graduate. This is a watershed moment for UCSD. A small but devoted cadre of alumni volunteers has positioned us remarkably well over the years. But this milestone indicates that we are no longer a youthful campus. We can no longer claim our alumni base is too small or too young. The students know it, and they are hoping we can help them along their way to becoming supportive alumni themselves.

We know you are busy. We won’t ask for any more time than you are willing to offer. What we promise is fun. Today’s students, despite their staggering 4.10 GPAs and 1420 SATs, really aren’t that geeky. They have a youthful spirit and intellect that’s contagious and energizing. I’m guessing you’ll love giving some of our programs a shot.

If you are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities, please check out our website or call our office at (866) UCSD-ALUM.

John Valva
Executive Director, UCSD Alumni Association

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