@UCSD: An Alumni Publication

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Up Front May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

I'm back on the UC San Diego campus. I'm not going to say 20 years just flew by, but as I walk around, the memories immediately come back. The smell of Peterson lecture hall during a humanities final; the painted anchor in front of the mud huts; the sixth floor cone of silence atop the Library; a spending spree in the sundry store. Each of us has our own memories from our time at UCSD, and memories are part of the connection to a pivotal time in our lives.

After graduating in 1991 from Revelle College, I took a "leave of absence" from UCSD. I was done with the undergrad experience that had given me what I came to get: a degree in mechanical engineering so I could enter the real world—a young, motivated and well-prepared engineer.

Fortunately, life took me down some great roads—through business school, starting a family, and living in London. As I moved through these experiences, I never lost sight of where life really kicked into high gear. My connection to UCSD gave me lifelong friends. It was where I learned how to learn and it gave me my path to my first job and the desire to do more. I knew I'd be back; I just didn't know when.

While the campus has probably doubled in size since I went to school, the sense of community and camaraderie is stronger than ever. I still can't believe there are over 140,000 of us out there—UCSD grads. We all have a connection. Do you know what yours is?

As president-elect of the UCSD Alumni Board of Directors, and soon to be president, "connection" is my vision. Connection isn't just a memory, though. It can be a passion or a talent, something you shared while you were at UCSD and something that you can share now with the University and with us—your fellow alumni. Our mission is to strengthen our current connections and to re-establish the ones that have been dormant. It took me a while to figure out how and why I would want to come back, but I am in the right place now.

One thing the campus lacks is a focal point for the kind of connection that I think would serve this vision: A place to come back to; a place to make new acquaintances and rekindle old ones; a place to network for personal and professional growth. We have an amazing and rapidly growing community of alumni, but we don't have a home. Over the coming years, UCSD Alumni will be working closely with the University to bring a world-class, state-of-the-art Alumni Center to the campus. It will be a place for us to gather, a place where we can express our pride in this great institution. And that new home will allow us to build even stronger connections to all of our alumni. It is a goal for all of us, and I look forward to meeting you there soon.

Matt Newsome, Revelle '91,
president-elect, Board of Directors, UCSD Alumni

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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.