September 28, 2009
As the University of California and UC San Diego continue to struggle with the state’s severe budget cuts, we remain focused on preserving our mission to advance knowledge through excellence in education and research. It is our responsibility to educate tomorrow’s leaders, and enhance the health and well-being of our region, state, nation and the world. For many of our students, however, pursuing a degree has become even more challenging in the face of rising fees and a depressed economy. The need for student support is now more important than ever.
Need for Student Support Spurs Campaign
To address this critical need for student support, UC San Diego has launched "Invent the Future: The UC San Diego Student Support Campaign," a campus-wide fundraising effort comprising all academic areas. The goal of this three-year campaign is to raise $50 million for fellowships and scholarships which will help UC San Diego stay competitive in attracting top graduate and undergraduate students to campus. Our students play a key role in helping the university maintain its stellar reputation and rankings, and supporting exceptional students is one of the most effective ways to nurture our next generation of leaders. UC San Diego graduates enrich the local workforce and help fuel the region’s economy. It is important that we support our deserving and talented students, especially since per-student state funding has plunged 51 percent since 1990. In addition, 64 percent of all undergraduates receive financial assistance. And graduate students who support their education with fellowships, teaching and research positions are facing shrinking opportunities due to the overall federal funding climate. An investment in our students and their higher education is an investment in the future of California. To learn more or get involved with the student support campaign, click here.
Lace Up Your Shoes to Help Students
We’re also once again raising scholarship money for our students through our 14th annual Chancellor's Challenge 5k Run/Walk for Scholars, which will be held at 12:15 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23, on the North Campus Field, adjacent to RIMAC. I invite all faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members to join me for the race. This is one of my favorite events, as it unites our campus and local communities for a lively afternoon and a good cause – helping promising young students. Since its inception in 1996, the event has raised more than $2 million for more than 800 undergraduate scholarships. This year, we will again hold the Chancellor’s Champion contest, in which students, faculty, staff and alumni race against each other in friendly competition. Each group has a representative runner, and the winner will receive a trophy and will be invited to join me for lunch at the Faculty Club. Last year, the faculty runner won; this year it’s anybody’s race. Thanks in advance to all of our walkers and runners who will lace up their shoes to help support our students. I hope to see you on the field. Click here for more information about the 5k or to volunteer at the event.
Calling All Tritons to Campus
It’s time to dust off the blue and gold gear, meet and mingle with friends, and root for our Triton athletes, because Homecoming Weekend is right around the corner. Alumni Affairs and Athletics have put together a full schedule of spirited events for the Oct.16-18 celebration. The festivities kick off at noon on Friday, Oct. 16, with a community rally at the Triton steps, where you can meet the men’s water polo and women’s volleyball teams before their weekend competitions. The UC San Diego Pep Band and Triton mascot will also be on hand. During the weekend, we’ll also host a campus-wide scavenger hunt, a family-friendly picnic and barbeque, Sunday morning recreation activities and a Championship Brunch at the Faculty Club. For a list of events, click here, and go Tritons!
Calling All Family Members to Campus
The weekend after Homecoming, we’ll hold our second annual All-Campus Family Weekend from Oct. 23 to 25. It’s an opportunity for parents and loved ones to visit their students on campus and see what their life is like at UC San Diego, and it’s for all students, regardless of their class year. We’ve put together a number of activities including a visit to the Birch Aquarium, faculty lectures, a “Green Eggs and Ham” brunch, a concert in the new Conrad Prebys Music Center, and a family dinner and comedy night at the Loft. And, of course, I invite all of our students and their families to take part in our Chancellor’s Challenge 5k Run/Walk for Scholars which will be held on the first day of Family Weekend. For more information about the weekend’s events, click here. I look forward to seeing all of the parents and siblings, friends and other family members on campus, and I hope you will make this a UC San Diego family tradition.
Preparations Are in Place to Combat the Spread of the H1N1 Virus
With so many students, faculty, staff and visitors on campus, I know many people are concerned about the potential spread of the H1N1 virus this fall and winter. I want to assure you that we have plans in place to care for ill students and to educate people on how to prevent contracting the virus. We handed out informational fliers to students living in residence halls and sent an email to our entire campus community to let them know about our flu website at http://ucsd.edu/flu. It contains the most up-to-date information for our students, parents, families, faculty, staff and visitors, and it lists everything from basic prevention tips to flu symptoms to frequently asked questions.
Seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccines will be available to students at Student Health Services and other off-site mini-clinics in residence halls, RIMAC and the Price Center. The seasonal flu vaccines, recommended especially for high-risk persons, are available now; the H1N1 vaccine is expected to be available by the end of October. I also encourage students to participate in the “flu buddy” system, coordinated by Health Education/Student Health Advocates, to assist ill students by providing meals and flu kits. Faculty and staff who wish to be vaccinated should check with their individual health care providers for availability and instructions on getting a flu shot.
Campus Expands Celebration of California Native American Day
California Native American Day is celebrated on the fourth Friday of September every year, but UC San Diego has expanded its observance through the fall quarter. Our goal is to highlight and honor Native American history, and strengthen the connection between the university and Native American community. This year, we planned five separate events including a film showing, a performance lecture and a performance by Native American Dancers. To learn more about UC San Diego’s celebration of California Native American Day, click here.
New Chicano History Mural on Display at Thurgood Marshall College
You may have noticed a new mural hanging on Peterson Hall on the Thurgood Marshall campus. The Chicano History art project was commissioned to demonstrate our diversity and reflect real communities in California. The mural was created by local artists Mario Torero and Fernando Vossa, and will be officially dedicated on Wednesday, Oct. 14. For more information on the event and to see a sketch of the mural, click here. We appreciate our students, staff and faculty from MEChA, a Chicano/a student advocacy organization; the Student Affirmative Action Committee; the Student Promoted Access Center for Education and Service (SPACES); the UC San Diego Chicano/Latino Concilio; and the Division of Arts and Humanities, who supported this project.
And the Revelle Prize Goes to…
Prince Albert II of Monaco will receive the Roger Revelle Prize at Scripps Institution of Oceanography this month for his efforts to promote scientific research and protection of our global environment. In accepting the prize, he will present a lecture focusing on his wide-scale expeditions to study the environment and experiences related to the science of climate change. The Roger Revelle Prize at Scripps, named for the late climate change research pioneer and UC San Diego founder, recognizes leaders whose outstanding contributions advance or promote research in ocean, climate and earth sciences. This is the second Roger Revelle Prize at Scripps. The inaugural prize was presented to former Vice President Al Gore last March, in conjunction with the Roger Revelle 100th birthday celebration. So we salute Prince Albert and Al Gore for their global work and courage in pursuing scientific questions of critical importance to our world that evoke Revelle's leadership and vision.
I also salute you—our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community friends—for continuing your steadfast support of our mission to educate tomorrow’s leaders. You make a difference in our community and our world, and you are the reason UC San Diego is now ranked the second best university in the nation by the Washington Monthly’s 2009 College Guide for the university’s positive impact on the country. Thank you for everything you do.
With warm regards,
Marye Anne Fox