Ten years ago, we learned that a trolley extension plan would eventually connect UC San Diego’s main La Jolla campus with San Diego’s vibrant and diverse downtown. This exciting news sparked questions, such as: How could UC San Diego best capitalize on this accessible transportation connection? What would result if we bridge our campus with the unique cultural, social and economic communities located downtown? What bold new ideas could be generated by bringing together creative minds in an accessible, flexible and inclusive space? How could we design a new campus extension to advance our mission as a student-centered, research-focused, service-oriented public university? As we sought these answers in collaboration with our visionary supporters, the creative concept of Park & Market came to fruition. We selected the location in the heart of downtown San Diego and got to work. And this month, steps from the Blue Line Trolley stop, we brought this innovative idea to life.
Alongside Mayor Todd Gloria and countless friends and supporters, we joyously cut the ribbon at the grand opening on May 6th. This long-awaited moment signified the culmination of many years of planning and extraordinary vision. Together, we celebrated the inception of this brand new hub for civic engagement, exploration, collaboration and learning. We enjoyed a performance by the talented Voices of Our City choir—the first of many cultural experiences that will be regularly offered to the public. As we toured the state-of-the-art spaces, we envisioned the future possibilities. It truly was a grand opening.
Throughout the ceremony, our speakers shared the many ways this world-class campus extension will facilitate collaboration, serve the community, and build connections in our dynamic, bi-national region. In that spirit, we look forward to welcoming over 10,000 community members each year. Park & Market will expand educational opportunities to previously underserved areas, advance equity, diversity and inclusion, and provide enriching experiences for students and community members of all backgrounds. Individuals with diverse viewpoints and areas of expertise will join together to tackle common goals, creating something greater than anyone could alone. The possibilities are endless as we lift UC San Diego’s strategic vision to new heights.
Now that Park & Market is officially open, we welcome you to visit often and experience everything it has to offer. Come explore your curiosities. Experience a performance in the stunning Guggenheim Theatre. Catch an independent or foreign film at Media Arts’ Digital Gym Cinema. Marvel at the art installations created by regional and national artists in the gallery. Host or attend a business meeting in an executive conference room. Or, reinvent yourself by enrolling in an academic certificate program to pave the way for a brand new career path.
With the opening of Park & Market, UC San Diego continues our storied history of unconventional thinking and interdisciplinary collaboration for the greater good. We encourage brilliant minds to work together to generate the next great ideas because that is what a premier public university does. Physically, Park & Market occupies a city block downtown. But in connection with the community, Park & Market’s impact will surely reverberate throughout our bi-national region.