@UCSD: An Alumni Publication

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Interview with the Chancellor
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Are You Being Sniffed?
Neon Snail
Honoring Holocaust Victims Across Time and Space
Blondes Have More Light Scattering
Hotel Antimatter
Global Arc
Jet Lag and Diabetes
Japanese Internment - Press 'Play' to Learn
CloneGrid Cineastes
May I Have the Keys, Dad?

Giving Update May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2


UC San Diego = Return on Investment

In just 50 years, UC San Diego has achieved the extraordinary in education, research and innovation. Our stellar alumni and faculty have been awarded Nobel Prizes, National Medals of Science, Pulitzer Prizes and many other honors. MORE


Inventing the Future

Ricardo Sandoval, Muir ’94, a first-generation college student, grew up in Mexico and attended a small high school in Imperial Valley. After receiving his acceptance to UC San Diego, the excitement that Sandoval and his family felt soon gave way to worry over paying for his education.

Scholarships enabled Sandoval to graduate from UC San Diego with a degree in communications. Today, Sandoval is a newscast director for NBC San Diego.

Like Sandoval, 55 percent of UC San Diego undergraduates rely on financial aid. To address the growing need for student support coupled with the decline in state funding, the campus named its Invent the Future student support campaign the fundraising beneficiary of its year-long 50th Anniversary celebration.

“As the University celebrates this milestoneachievement, we are reminded of our commitment to excellence, accessibility and affordability,” says UC San Diego Chancellor Marye Anne Fox.

The goal of Invent the Future is to fund undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships for all who need them. To date, the UC San Diego student support campaign has raised more than $26 million toward its $50 million goal, with $9.2 million raised thus far during the 50th Anniversary. Anniversary fundraising activities have included:

•          Visionary Sponsors include Cubic Corporation, Qualcomm and Sempra Energy. Additional sponsors are Clark Construction; VOLT; Cymer, Inc.; Steelcase/BKM; Classic Party Rentals; Consolidated Electrical Distributors, Inc.; Swinerton Builders; Skidmore, Owings and Merrill; USE Credit Union; Turner Construction and Webcor Builders.

•          The UC San Diego Bookstore is donating 10 percent of 50th Anniversary merchandise sales to Invent the Future . Get your 50th swag at bookstore.ucsd.edu.

•          Chuao Chocolatier, founded by alumni brothers Michael, Muir ’85, and Richard, Muir ’84, Antonorsi, is hosting a 50th Anniversary chocolate bar contest. Fifty cents of each special edition candy bar benefits the campaign.

•          A Marvel Inside A Miracle, published by UCSD Alumni, illustrates the University’s 50 years through archival photographs. All proceeds benefit student scholarships. Purchase yours at alumni.ucsd.edu/book.

Scholarships have the power to transform the lives of promising students, like alumnus Ricardo Sandoval. “If it wasn’t for scholarship support, I never would have started at UC San Diego,” says Sandoval. “We need the brightest and most driven students, and oftentimes those qualities don’t coincide with economic status. Giving to scholarships is an investment in the future.”

Recent Gifts

Steve Altman, president of Qualcomm, Inc., and his wife Lisa pledged $10 million to the planned Clinical and Translational Research Institute building, to be constructed on UC San Diego’s La Jolla campus. 

Chris and Warren Hellman made a $2.4 million gift to the Hellman Fellowship program. The funding will provide support for faculty members in their scholarly work as they strive for tenure at the University. 

Alumna Wendy Kwok donated $265,000 to establish the Wendy W. Kwok Research Scholarship Endowment, which will provide scholarship support for undergraduates majoring in biological sciences.

UC San Diego received a $2 million gift from Audrey Geisel—widow of author Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel—to jumpstart the renovation of University House. 

Learn More
For more information on giving to UCSD, please visit giving.ucsd.edu, email giving@ucsd.edu or call the Office of Development at 858-534-1610.


Aaron Liao, ERC '05

Aaron Liao, a 2005 graduate in computer engineering, likes to be at the forefront of new ideas. Growing up in the Bay Area, Liao was immersed in the technology hub of Silicon Valley and was involved with several startups even before college. On campus, Liao helped launch two new organizations: the UC San Diego Regents Scholars Association and the UCSD Wushu Club, which practices a form of Chinese martial arts. Today Liao is a technical account manager for Microsoft, advising enterprise customers in Hollywood on solutions and strategies around Microsoft products.

Shortly after graduation, Liao once again saw an opportunity to help establish a new campus organization. Liao was the third donor to join the newly founded Chancellor’s Associates Young Alumni (CAYA). CAYA is a giving program designed specifically to engage young alumni—who are starting their careers—in philanthropic efforts at the University.

Favorite place on campus?
The bench on Snake Path.

Best class?
Engineering Psychology with Professor Hal Pashler. It was a fantastic look into user experience and behavior.

Advice for current students?
Enjoy your time. Pause to take in the sights and sounds, meet other students and get involved.

Why did you join CAYA?
CAYA provides a fantastic vehicle for recent graduates like me to give back to and stay connected with the University that cultivated my growth and provided me with the education and networking I needed to make an impact in the world.

How have you benefited from CAYA?
As a CAYA donor, I am privy to the wonderful Chancellor’s Associates events where I get to meet and interact with fascinating people from all walks of life. It’s a great way to expand your scope and feed your intellectual curiosity.

As a CAYA member, your gifts help fund the University’s greatest needs. Why is that so important?
It’s not easy to stay on top of what’s emerging, relevant and important in the world. By giving to this fund that supports the University’s greatest needs, I know that my contribution is being allocated to where it will make the biggest impact.

What advice would you give fellow alums about giving back, especially our young alumni?
I would urge my fellow alumni to think about the fact that their time at UC San Diego was made possible by philanthropists before us. Consider the next generation of students and what they will contribute to the world and how, through giving, we can help. Even what you may perceive as a small contribution can have an extraordinary impact.