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Up Front May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2
   


This past June, I hired one of our recent graduates, Greg Murphy, ’08, to work with me on a new project. He had expressed an interest in the Order of Tritons, a concept I had presented to our student ambassadors a few months earlier. The idea was to personally reach out each year to 1,000 alumni who had had no, or minimal, contact with UC San Diego since their graduation.

What I think intrigued Greg and his peers was that this outreach would be done by current students—not professional staff. I was not a bit surprised to witness their readiness to embrace such an audacious goal, but it was thrilling to see their enthusiasm and the imaginative ideas they generated. What happened next was equally delightful. I started receiving phone calls and emails from students who were ready to get to work. Greg himself had managed to secure a few meetings with me to determine his role in directing this creative engagement initiative. His youthful persistence and impressive professionalism convinced me to let him drive this venture. He is currently well underway in building the operational framework to undertake the largest alumni discovery initiative in the history of UC San Diego.

I wish all of you could be here on campus to observe the intelligence, creativity, and the restless enthusiasm that I see each day. These qualities are the essence of UC San Diego students who embody the very spirit of entrepreneurship embodied in the ideals of our founder Roger Revelle. He would have been so pleased to have welcomed over 6,000 new alumni in June and honor many for their outstanding academic excellence and leadership acumen.

The alumni discovery initiative is one of several new signature programs we are developing to engage a far greater number of alumni with UC San Diego. This coming year, we will celebrate homecoming in October, our first-ever young alumni reunion in February, and the inaugural alumni weekend in June. Details on these and other new programs are available on pages 49 and 53. We are also building new programs in education and career development, and are working with alumni across the country to create corporate-based alumni clubs. Please contact us if you are interested in starting a chapter, club or council in your company or region.

As we launch into this new and exciting year, I want to welcome the new members of the UCSD Alumni Association Board of Directors. Eight alumni have started their terms this July, and under the leadership of our new president, Sheldon Engelhorn, ’72, will lead the Alumni Association through its core values of leadership, service, advocacy and philanthropy. (See page 51 for a profile of Sheldon and the Englehorn Family Scholarship).
I do hope that you make plans to come back to your alma matter. I will personally take you on a tour and, although the place looks different, I can assure you that the very spirit of this charmed mesa by the sea, strengthened by your enduring legacy as an alumnus/a, still echoes in the ethos of our great University. And perhaps you will get to meet Greg and his cadre of ­students. I promise you will not be disappointed.

Armin Afsahi, Revelle '90
Publisher and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Alumni Affairs

Rady's Edge

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