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Features May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

Reconnecting, Reminiscing, and Rocking the Night Away
by Becky Biegelsen

Hundreds of graduates (’98 to ’08) attended UCSD’s inaugural Young Alumni Reunion


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Photograph by by Melissa Jacobs, Muir ’95, and J. Katarzyna Woronowicz

So why would you spend a weekend back at the old alma mater? For the answer you would have to ask some of the more than 750 attendees of the 2009 Young Alumni Reunion (YAR), who returned to campus during the February 19-22 weekend to revel in their shared Triton experience and “power up their network.” Offering a potpourri of programs for all tastes, the reunion kicked off Thursday evening with an alumni leadership dinner for UCSD Alumni Association board members, past presidents and alumni donors at Calit2’s Atkinson Pavilion. Afterward, Jeff Elman, dean of Social Sciences, Thad Kousser, political science professor, and Joe Leventhal, Marshall ’99, former deputy assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney, discussed presidential transitions and the first month of the Obama administration.

Friday night was the culmination of Spirit Week and Triton pride was de rigeur. Those who attended the special skybox reception at RIMAC, witnessed a thrilling basketball double-header, with both men’s and women’s teams winning in the waning seconds of their games.

And then for those itching to show their own moves, a concert at UCSD’s hottest new space, The Loft, featured the alumni bands Secret Apollo and The Modlins.

Saturday’s “Power Up Your Triton Network” event was a huge hit, offering a hands-on career development and networking
program highlighted by speaker Bart Meltzer, Muir ’90, lead inventor of Web Services and a pioneer in XML Technology, who offered his top ten strategies for owning, managing and sustaining social and professional networks. Afterwards Ron Nash, author of How to Find Your Dream Job Even During a Recession, gave an inspirational talk about practical ways to utilize those networks. Later that day, alumni stopped by a fun Happy Hour gathering at Porter’s Pub before heading off to a co-sponsored event with Chancellor’s Associates. This showcased a screening of the popular independent film Bottle Shock along with a discussion with its alumni producers Robert Baizer, Muir ’87, and Diane Jacobs, Muir ’86, Ph.D. ’91, and supporting actor, Hal Klein, Muir ’97. On Sunday, alumni could be found back at The Loft for a relaxing champagne brunch to cap off the weekend. 

The event also brought together alumni from several academic divisions and campus groups with their own smaller reunions throughout the weekend, including cognitive science, environmental systems, physical sciences, Greek alumni, Alternative Breaks alumni and Student Foundation alumni.  

“This new signature program gave us a chance to reach out to our younger alumni, who comprise nearly 50 percent of UC San Diego’s entire alumni base,” says Armin Afsahi, Revelle ’90, executive director, UCSD Alumni Association.

And for those alumni who missed the YAR buzz but still feel young at heart, come back and connect at the Alumni Weekend, June 4-7. There will be a full slate of family activities, as well as the Awards for Excellence dinner.

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