Reflecting on the Successes of 2021

Uncommon Connections

As 2021 concludes, we reflect on a year that showcased the very best of UC San Diego's distinctive education, research, patient care and community service missions. This year was challenging and unpredictable, but Tritons rose to meet each challenge, moved forward with pragmatic optimism and innovated in nearly every corner of our education, research and health enterprise.

Throughout the pandemic, our award-winning patient care and groundbreaking research never stopped. We contributed new ideas and developed innovations for urgent issues affecting California, the nation and the world.

Our latest edition of Discoveries Magazine chronicles the past two years of the pandemic and UCSD’s extraordinary role and response across its missions of research, education and clinical care. Crises spur innovation and compassion, both abundantly evident in the achievements of our researchers and the extraordinary care of our physicians, nurses and staff at UC San Diego Health.

King Triton with students at the "Welcome to the Neighborhood" event at the new North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood.

King Triton with students at the "Welcome to the Neighborhood" event at the new North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood.

Compassion and innovation were also abundant on our campus as well. Amd because of our commitment to one another, our campus was able to return safely to in-person activities for Fall Quarter 2021. Staff returned to campus in full force as well. Our entire community reconnected to one another through meetings and social gatherings and at sporting events, Convocation, Homecoming and Founders week. 

Supporters and fans of Triton Women's Soccer cheering on the team.

Triton Women's Soccer fans cheering on the team.

UC San Diego also reconnected with our greater San Diego community with the grand opening of the UC San Diego Blue Line trolley extension in November. Students and employees who live throughout the region now have direct access to the heart of our campus. And everyone, from Tijuana to La Jolla, has a new way to connect to our world-class education, research and patient care as well as direct access to the many art, culture, enrichment and recreation opportunities that UC San Diego has to offer. 

Riders of the UC San Diego Blue Line at the main UC San Diego station at Pepper Canyon.

Riders of the UC San Diego Blue Line at the main UC San Diego station at Pepper Canyon. 

UC San Diego’s physical transformation also witnessed a number of milestones this fall. North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood, the Design and Innovation Building and the Scripps Ocean Atmosphere Research Simulator (SOARS) marked significant additions to our campus. And on Friday, December 17, we celebrated the groundbreaking for Phase 1 of our Hillcrest Medical Center redevelopment.

The Year Ahead

We have much to look forward to in the new year, including events such as the Triton Leadership Conference, Division I athletics and Commencement as well as the opening of new facilities on — and off — campus. These include UC San Diego Park & Market, Franklin Antonio Hall, the Ted and Jean Scripps Marine Conservation and Technology Facility at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the Epstein Family Amphitheater, which are slated to open in 2022. Meanwhile, work continues to move forward on future projects such as UC San Diego Villa La Jolla, the Theatre District Living and Learning Neighborhood, and Triton Pavilion.

Rendering of the new Epstein Family Amphitheater at UC San Diego, located near the Pepper Canyon trolley station.

Rendering of the new Epstein Family Amphitheater at UC San Diego, located near the Pepper Canyon trolley station.

These projects are specifically designed to foster deeper bonds between students, employees and our greater community and to expand access to the top-ranked education, groundbreaking research, award-winning healthcare and community enrichment that UC San Diego is known to deliver. Moving into the new year, we look forward to continuing to build connections with one another on campus, across our community and around the world.

Happy New Year

I am grateful to our entire UC San Diego community for your hard work, your resilience and your compassion for one another. Thank you for all you do. It is an honor to lead such a talented, dedicated, collaborative and supportive community. There is no limit to our Triton potential.

I wish you and your loved ones all the hope and joy that a new year brings.

Founders Celebration Includes Grand Openings of Design and Innovation Building and Trolley

UC San Diego Blue Line Extension Grand Opening

The San Diego Trolley making a stop on opening day at the main UC San Diego station in Pepper Canyon.

The culmination of many years of dedication and commitment were on full display during our annual Founders Celebration. It was a week of celebrating the people and achievements that have fueled the success and resulting growth of our campus over 61 years. That growth continues to inspire deeper connections to our community, and those connections lay the foundations for our future growth.

The UC San Diego Blue Line Trolley opened on Sunday, November 24, to thousands of riders who joined regional partners including SANDAG, MTS and more to welcome the community to our campus. The trolley is an important part of our commitment to our community, connecting UC San Diego to the greater San Diego region like never before. Students and employees who live throughout the region now have direct access to the heart of our campus. Patients and family members now have greater access to UC San Diego Health’s world-class patient care. And all San Diegans, from Tijuana to La Jolla, have a way to connect to our world-class enterprise and the multitude of arts, culture, enrichment and recreation that our campus offers.

A classic red San Diego Trolley Car breaks a banner to herald its official opening.

A classic red San Diego Trolley Car breaks a banner to herald its official opening. 

The grand opening ceremony of the new Design and Innovation Building at UC San Diego

The grand opening ceremony of the new Design and Innovation Building at UC San Diego.

On Thursday, we celebrated our commitment to nontradition with the opening of our new Design and Innovation Building (DIB). The DIB was a critical component of our strategy to connect the region and expand access to our community. Sitting just steps away from the Pepper Canyon trolley station, the DIB brings together the Basement, Maker Space, Design Lab and Entrepreneurship Center in one building, in what is our campus and regional hub for innovation and inspiration. It is truly the physical manifestation of the types of collaborative and groundbreaking work happening across our campus, and the place where ideas take shape and accelerate, growing into commercially viable, sustainable and impactful solutions. It is the place where connections are made, and students are prepared for tomorrow’s workforce.

Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla at the grand opening of the new Design and Innovation Building at UC San Diego

Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla at the grand opening of the new Design and Innovation Building at UC San Diego.

Of course, we could not have achieved our goals without our Founders and founding faculty. On Friday, we celebrated the profound contributions and impact of our faculty emeriti, and 2021 Revelle medalists, Richard “Dick” Attiyeh, Wayne Cornelius, Peter Cowhey, Dr. Barbara Parker and Robert “Bob” Sullivan. Each of these esteemed faculty leaders played a foundational role in creating programs and principles that reinforce and enhance our university’s reputation of prestige and distinction. Their mark added visibility and credibility to many of our leading programs and success today, in global policy, management, patient care, binational affairs and flagship graduate programs.

2021 Revelle Medal Recipients

The recipients of the 2021 Revelle Medals at UC San Diego.

Dick Attiyeh served UC San Diego for more than five decades, in roles spanning faculty member for the Department of Economics, to Vice Chancellor of Research and dean of Graduate Studies before retiring in 2006. He notably established a remarkable 23 new graduate programs across campus during his administrative tenure, as well as several professional schools.

Wayne Cornelius was an early pioneer in expanding bi-national and international affairs, and served as founding director of two internationally respected, interdisciplinary research centers at UC San Diego: the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies and the Center for Comparative Immigration, which helped establish UC San Diego as the powerhouse it has become in both fields.

Peter Cowhey’s influence has led UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy Studies (GPS) to become globally recognized as one of the top professional schools of international relations and public policy. He retired in 2021 after five decades of service to UC San Diego, including more than 20 years as dean of GPS.

Nationally recognized for her commitment to compassionate care, Dr. Barbara Parker has had a foundational impact on how UC San Diego Health delivers healthcare. As a board-certified medical oncologist at UC San Diego Health and professor emerita in the UC San Diego School of Medicine, Barbara created a legacy of mentorship among her students, leadership among her colleagues, and gratitude among the more than 20,000 patients she treated.

Founding dean of the Rady School of Management, Bob Sullivan, understood that in order to be successful in building a business school, he needed to focus on establishing a leadership school that specializes in the business of science, technology and innovation. His passion and vision were instrumental in building the school’s reputation for excellence, innovation and economic impact on the business community in our region, and beyond.

I encourage you to watch our medalists’ tribute videos to learn more about these giants among our faculty emeriti, whose vision and service laid an important foundation for our future.

As we look to the future, our connections to our community will continue to grow. Next year, we will open the Epstein Family Amphitheater on campus and steps from the trolley stop; UC San Diego Park and Market will broaden our connections to the region and its vibrant downtown community; UC San Diego Villa La Jolla is a new state-of-the-art facility and result of a public-private partnership to house several programs from UC San Diego Health, School of Medicine and Extension under one roof to serve students, patients and the community.

We have much to look forward to.

Chancellor’s Lunchbox Club Resumes In Person

Chancellor addressing his guests at the 2021 Chancellor's Lunchbox Club

Chancellor Khosla presenting the lunchboxes at the 2021 Chancellor's Lunchbox Club.

One of my favorite campus traditions is the annual Chancellor's Lunchbox Club. It gives me an opportunity to meet staff and have a casual chat about anything they like, all while enjoying a great lunch.

Guests at the 2021 Chancellor's Lunchbox Club

Guests enjoying lunch at the 2021 Chancellor's Lunchbox Club.

Chancellor Khosla addressing the 2021 guests at the 2021 Chancellor's Lunchbox Club

Chancellor Khosla addressing his guests at the 2021 Chancellor's Lunchbox Club.

This year, 14 randomly chosen staff members were invited to reunite in person for a special outdoor lunch with me on the terrace outside my office. I was pleased to meet and personally thank staff members from diverse areas of campus for the work that they do to support the mission of UC San Diego.

Guests at the opening of the 2021 Chancellor's Lunchbox Club

Guests showing off their 2021 commemorative lunchboxes. 

This year’s lunchbox art was created by Dave Decaro, Director of Marketing for Housing, Dining and Hospitality. The box features a duotone image of Chancellor Khosla standing with the words "Uncommon Staff Reunited." Each lunch guest took home their own commemorative lunchbox.

2021 Chancellor's Lunchbox Club commemorative lunchbox

2021 Chancellor's Lunchbox Club commemorative lunchbox.

Find me at the 2022 Summer Staff Picnic to enter into the drawing for next year's Lunchbox Club. Until then, I hope to see you on campus soon!

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