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Up Front May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

I am very fortunate to have the honor of serving as your UCSD alumni president during the 50th Anniversary of UCSD.

My name is Ira Rubenstein and I am a 1987 Revelle graduate. During my undergraduate years at UCSD, I was able to participate in the creation of many new programs for future students, from being part of the planning of the original Price Center to working on the very first Sun God Festival. I felt privileged at that time to be part of a group of students who were so driven to build and change their University. Today, 25 years later, I feel that same sense of privilege as I step forward to ask you all to join us in helping build an even better Alumni Association.

The Alumni Association has recently made great strides. In the last two years alone, thousands of alumni and friends have returned to campus annually for Association events that range from sold-out lectures to a sold-out family night at the Birch Aquarium. We have also witnessed record-breaking results in student philanthropy, alumni advocacy and giving. As a result, alumni engagement is on a major upward trajectory. These indicators are vital to improving UCSD’s rankings in national indexes and thus increasing the value of your diploma. With all this success, I know we can do even more.

Therefore your Alumni Board of Directors has recently unanimously approved a new Alumni Membership program. Free. That’s right, EVERYONE is now a member of the UCSD Alumni Association and part of the UCSD community. We want everyone to feel welcome and invited to the wide variety of intellectually stimulating and socially interactive programs. This gift comes with only one request. Please help us grow your alumni association by bringing your UCSD alumni friends to programs and events. Please help us grow through volunteering to be a mentor to an undergraduate. Please help us make the case for education investment to our elected officials through advocating on behalf of the University. Please help us increase resources through your generosity and philanthropy to scholarship programs that help UCSD students in need. There are many ways to support UCSD, and in today’s current political and economic environments, that support is more important than ever. We ask that you participate. It is your University, and it is your Alumni Association.

We have a great year ahead of us. There will be many wonderful events in connection with the 50th anniversary. Our fall Alumni Board meeting will be held for the first time outside San Diego in Northern California. We are planning a weekend of Triton camaraderie in Napa and I do hope you all can join us
October 1-3.

In the spirit of UCSD, we will be launching all kinds of new ventures this year. We will continue to innovate and work hard to engage you, our alumni community, now over 130,000 strong.   UCSD has emerged as one of the top institutions in the world and we will continue to build a top alumni association to complement it. We invite you to join us on this adventure, an adventure that needs alumni participation, so please help me and the Board of Directors build a world-class Alumni Association. After all, every one of you is now a member.  We think of it as a birthday gift to you from the Association, on the occasion of the University’s 50th. Happy birthday UCSD, from one grateful alumnus.

Ira Rubenstein, Revelle ’87, Alumni Association President

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A c c o l a d e s

Excuse this brief interruption while we take a moment to congratulate ourselves. The UCSD Alumni Association was recognized in three different categories by the Council for the Advance­ment and Support of Education (CASE) at the CASE District VII conference in San Francisco, in November.

The Association won three Awards of Excellence for its creative use of technology, new programs and general interest magazine. It received a gold medal award for its innovative “AlumnIdea” crowdsourcing microsite that allows alumni to give interactive feedback; a gold medal award for the “Discovery Ambassador Initiative,” a program that reconnects alumni with the University; and a silver medal award for the magazine, which we hope you are happily perusing.