@UCSD: An Alumni Publication

An Alumni Publication   Archive vol1no3 Contact
Up Front: Letters to and from the editor
Campus Currents: UCSD Stories
Shelf Life: Books
Cliff Notes: Student life and sports
Class Notes: Alumni profiles
Campaign Update: Imagine the Future
Looking Back: Thoughts on UCSD
Credits: Staff and Contributors

The Cost of      Catastrophe
Portraits of a Chinese      Past
Welcome to Scripps      Around the Globe

Making Waves

Digital Fish
Dancing in the Desert
Ticking down to the      "Big One"
Sixth Sense


Up Front May 2004: Volume 1, Number 2

Letters to the Editor

Video Visiting Iraq
I appreciated reading your article titled Video Visiting Iraq. As an active duty Col. in the USAF and a UCSD alumnus, class of 1984 Revelle College, I am glad to see that UCSD is making life better for my deployed military brothers and sisters.
Ed Kost, ’84, MD, Col(s), USAF, MC

Favorite Sun God memories
My first Sun God memory was my freshman year in Spring 2000. That year was also the graduating year for an infamous troop of friends, who had established a legacy through their creation of an SRTV based talk/variety show called the Gleib Show. Over the years, the troop had acquired some great renown and so their finale was actually part of the Sun God festivities and was performed in the Price Center. As is only appropriate for a Sun God festival, they managed to get a high profile celebrity—the very sexy Carmen Electra—on stage as their show’s guest. Carmen wore a sparkly pink dress of course and she was dazzling. The Price Center was filled beyond capacity with celebrating onlookers. I had a great view, my friends with me, sitting just in front of the waterfall about 30 yards back from the stage. As the show continued I exclaimed as only a screaming freshman can “Carmen I love you!” Despite the boisterous level of the show, she heard me. She stood up, looked out into the sea of lights and proclaimed, “I love you too, baby!” The crowd cheered, and I was happy. Though sadly, I never was able to embrace Carmen, that memory of Sun God 2000 will forever reign in my heart.
Joshua Wortman, ’04

My favorite Sun God memory was when Cypress Hill played in 1999. I was pushed into the mosh pit, lost ONE Steve Madden shoe, got my first contact high, and had to be carried piggy-back to Camp Snoopy all the way from RIMAC—or was it being forced to pour out a bottle of Cuervo before leaving the dorms? No, definitely the Cypress Hill memory. A night to remember! Thanks.
Amy Chester, ’02

Not-so-favorite Sun “Thing” Memories
Is the Sun God—infinitely uglier than the cross on Mount Soledad—a religious symbol?
Professor (emeritus) Ralph Lewin

Publisher’s Response:
Dear Professor Lewin,
Thank you for your question. This is the link to the UCSD’s Stuart Collection’s website: stuart collection.ucsd.edu, where you will find a description of the Sun God. As you can see, it is intended to be non-religious artwork.
John Valva
Executive Director,
UCSD Alumni Association

My favorite memory of the Sun thing was the lovely arching pedestal that would have been a nice home for ivy—until the bizarre figure appeared on it. I was there and utterly disappointed. At least, PLEASE do not use a capital “g” to describe it. It is offensively pagan enough as it is. By the way, if the cross on Mt. Soledad comes down, then the Sun thing should too.
Lisa R Caswell, ’83

Da Vinci and the UCSD Experience
Thanks for the fascinating article on Mr. Seracini (January, 2006). What gave me pause and pleasure during my review was the undercurrent of the article about “outside the box” thinking, which was and still is a hallmark of the UCSD experience. How else does an electrical engineer become a respected expert on Italian art history and preservation; or in my case, end up in Atlanta, Georgia, running an automotive group? Interesting stuff; keep up the great work!!
Ralph Hardie, ’73
(Ralph points out he is not related to the editor)

Best Athletic Department
at the Best Academic Institution
First let me say I’m a proud alumnus of UCSD. I have no regrets about my choice of undergraduate education. I am proud when I see the academic accolades UCSD consistently receives (e.g., Newsweek recently naming UCSD #1 school for science). As a former student athlete (swimming) I was fortunate to have a built-in sense of community and camaraderie.

However, a sense of identity has long plagued UCSD’s undergraduates.

Many of my cohorts made off to UCLA and CAL after a couple of years because they felt they were missing out on school spirit. We all know UCSD stands proudly at the top of the UC system, but it’s time to look at how athletics can help create a sense of identity for UCSD students and alumni. UCSD should not try and emulate CAL or UCLA, but it does have a niche.

The athletic department is not just for the student athletes, it’s for the students. UCSD should begin by allocating adequate resources to the athletic department.

Working in the sports industry I find it hard to believe a powerhouse like UCSD can’t attract viable funding to have the “Best Athletic Department of its kind at the Best Academic Institution.”

They should be pounding the doors of La Jolla for potential donors (naming rights to facilities similar to the Jacobs School of Engineering) and tapping into the alumni base. Why isn’t RIMAC the “Steve Jobs” Arena? Or Canyon View the “Jacobs” Pool? Why can’t UCSD generate similar interest from the La Jolla community for its athletic programs?

Like other schools, we need to bring in our alumni to serve as administrators in our athletic department (e.g., look at UCLA’s athletic department—it is filled with Bruins).

The UCSD administration would be well advised to consider the loss of bright students who may opt to transfer to CAL or UCLA for the spirit. In fact, I was at UC Davis during a recent business trip and they have cultivated a great spirit through their athletic department, which is obviously attractive to their student body. When that next future Nobel Prize winner considers their undergraduate choices they may opt for a school other than UCSD because they want the spirit.

In my biased opinion UCSD has everything no other school in California, and perhaps even the nation, has: top notch academics, amazing location, a beautiful campus—now it’s time to give the “youngest of the best” the spirit it deserves.
Focus on establishing a fan base with the people of La Jolla and our alumni. Focus on what we’re good at: water polo, swimming, soccer, volleyball, baseball, golf, etc. NEVER think of adding football. Develop a niche and build upon it.

With this said, I’d love to help . . . and I know there are others like me out here. We’re proud as peacocks when we read of UCSD’s academic excellence or see a UCSD professor on PBS or quoted in the New York Times—but it would be great to see us listed as the best athletic program of its kind in Sports Illustrated or on ESPN.
Mike Lewis, ’89
(Mike Lewis is the director of sport development for USA Water Polo.)

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