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Up Front May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2
   


John Valva, Executive Director, UCSD Alumni Association

In this issue, we feature an interview with Joseph Watson, who is retiring after 41 years at UC San Diego as professor, founding provost of Third/Thurgood Marshall College, and vice chancellor of Student Affairs. If it ever could be said that an individual had direct impact on the lives of every undergraduate who attended UC San Diego, that person would be Joe Watson. Whether you agreed with all of his positions or appreciated his style—his integrity and passion for education and equality of opportunity are beyond debate. His place in the annals of this great University is at the top. His impression on those of us who have the pleasure to work alongside him is forever lasting.

Joe, we’ll miss you, and we thank you.

One way or another, we invite you to help us celebrate his career as the UCSD Alumni Association confers upon him our prestigious Honorary Alumnus Award at our June 2nd Awards for Excellence Program.

Sometimes we tend to forget that the soul of higher education lies in its people. Great discoveries, patents, buildings and awards are newsworthy, but behind each of those are spectacularly talented and passionate women and men. In his interview, Joe Watson pays tribute to UCSD’s founders. Today’s students and faculty are indebted to their vision, ingenuity and bravery. In just over 40 years, they leveraged a renowned oceanographic research center and a dusty military base on an isolated hill into one of the truly great academic institutions in the world.

We stand on the shoulders of those giants. And, along the way you have been a major part of it.

As we increasingly bid them farewell, we owe those founders a debt. Now it’s our turn. Our payment is to continue their work. This June, our alumni ranks will grow to over 116,000. The influence of such numbers can be staggering. UCSD alumni are the largest and only permanent stakeholders of the University. Great institutions of learning are not simply shaped by the people who inhabit them at any given time, but by the later lives of their alumni and the stories they tell, long after their experiences on campus. Top universities produce alumni who have momentous impact in medicine, business, the arts, education and community. Engaged alumni enhance the value of a UC San Diego degree.

You are our permanent ambassadors. Revisit the campus as frequently as your life allows, keep your network of classmates and school associates alive, and tell good stories about your experiences here to anyone that will listen. Along the way, help us mentor students, remind your elected officials of the importance of funding public education and research, and reserve a place for your alma mater in your generous philanthropy.

It’s the power of people, one at a time.

John Valva
Executive Director, UCSD Alumni Association


RELATED LINKS

Q&A: Vice Chancellor Joseph Watson

VIEW

Alumni Awards for Excellence

VIEW

Chancellor's Office

VIEW

 
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