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Giving Update May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

Q&A
Alumni Friends Ryan Darby, Muir '04 and Vince Vasquez, Revelle '02

How did you become friends?
We were both Political Science majors.

Favorite campus hangout?
Porter's Pub

Advice for current students?
Vasquez: Do everything you can to network because that's what it takes to get a job in this economy.
Darby: And be careful of what you post on Facebook.

Ryan Darby, Muir, '04, and Vince Vasquez, Revelle, '02, became friends while earning their bachelor's degrees at UC San Diego. Today, Darby practices landlord/tenant and personal injury law in San Diego, while Vasquez is a public policy analyst at the National University System Institute for Policy Research.

In addition to their degrees, the friends also share a passion for helping others. So when the two learned that 16,000 post-9/11 veterans would be separating from military service and moving to San Diego by 2020, Darby and Vasquez considered what they could do to help those who have sacrificed so much.

Giving the gift of education, Darby and Vasquez established the Military Veteran Scholarship to help support veterans who are pursuing an undergraduate degree at UC San Diego.

The two friends are actively working with colleagues, friends and fellow alumni to encourage others to make a gift to the fund. Their goal is to raise enough to endow the scholarship so that it remains in perpetuity, helping student veterans long into the future.

Why do you feel that giving back to your alma mater is important?
Darby: UC San Diego is the premier research university in the San Diego area, so contributions back to our alma mater only help our community. We had a good experience here and we want to do what we can to help veterans have that same positive experience.

Why did you choose to focus this scholarship on student veterans?
Vasquez: We believe it is our generation's responsibility to make sure the needs of our military veterans are met. With the population of student veterans expected to soar, the need for scholarship support is more critical than ever. Now is our time to act.

Student veterans receive funding from the GI Bill. Why are scholarships still essential?
Vasquez: These students frequently have out-of-pocket expenses such as books, transportation and some housing costs that exceed their federal stipend.

What makes student veterans unique on campus?
Darby: Student veterans often have more experience, as well as responsibility. They may be married, have kids or even medical conditions, all making classes more challenging. We want to provide as much supplemental aid as possible to support the veterans who have supported us.

To learn more or make a gift to the Military Veterans Scholarship, visit ucsd.edu/go/veteranscholarship