A new alumni-led initiative, the Alumni Colleges Fund, seeks to enhance one of UCSC's most distinctive features: its colleges.
"Whether we were discussing classes or the swirling political issues of the time, the friendships forged at Merrill are some of the strongest that we have today, 35 years later," said Ken Doctor (Merrill '71), president of the UCSC Alumni Association. "Proximity helped students find one another and make informal connections with faculty. Socially and intellectually, the colleges added something unique that is not available to undergraduates in most university settings throughout the U.S."
With leadership from Doctor and UCSC Foundation president Ken Feingold (Cowell '71), this spring the Alumni Association established the Alumni Colleges Fund to provide annual and endowment funds to college provosts. The monies will support visiting faculty, artists, and other distinguished speakers; special events, lectures, and College Night programs; service learning and community outreach projects; and other initiatives. "These resources will make a big difference," said Doctor. "Even $500 here and there can enable a project to go forward that would otherwise be impossible."
Feingold still remembers a College Night when the renowned primatologist Jane Goodall spoke at Stevenson College. More than 30 years later, activist Jesse Jackson's visit to College Nine made a lasting impression on alumna Nidhi Chanani (College Nine '02). Though separated by three decades, these two grads' memories suggest the lasting impact of college-based programs.
Today, only four of every ten dollars needed for UC's operation come from public funds, down from almost seven 40 years ago. The state has never allocated increased funds to the Santa Cruz campus for its unique college structure. Over the past four years the campus has experienced a reduction of approximately 17 percent in state funding. The cuts have affected every area on campus; the colleges are no exception.
All alumni are invited to make a gift to the Alumni Colleges Fund. Graduates from the classes of '00, '95, '90, '85, '80, '75, and '70 are welcome to make a gift honoring their reunions, which will take place April 15-17. Donations to the fund will be directed to the college of the donor's choice. Alumni may also "purchase" a tile for each donation of $1,000. Each six-inch square tile, engraved with the donor's name, college, and year, will be installed and permanently displayed at the donor's college.
"Administrators have reaffirmed the value of colleges, even in the context of budget cuts," Doctor said. "As alumni, we want to help that renewal and support the outstanding college-based educational experience that connects the campus's founding with the 21st century."
Calling all grads: Celebrate UCSC's 40th at your alumni reunion
Reconnect with treasured friends and faculty at Banana Slug Spring Fair campus reunion weekend, April 15-17. The 2004 event broke all previous records for alumni involvement (2,420 attendees), faculty attendance (over 100), and number of reunions, receptions, lectures, and other events (42). Generous alumni celebrating reunions gave $245,000 to the campus, including a $45,000 challenge donation from three alumni that matched fellow grads' contributions to the colleges dollar for dollar.
At BSSF 2005, all graduates and friends can celebrate UCSC's 40th anniversary at the All-Alumni Reunion Luncheon. The classes of '00, '95, '90, '85, '80, '75, and '70 will receive special recognition as they celebrate their five- through 35-year reunions.
Reunion invitations will be sent only via e-mail. Make sure the Alumni Association has your current e-mail address. You can update it online at alumni.ucsc.edu, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Alumni Association toll free at (800) 933-SLUG.
UCSC benefitsand so do youwhen you join the Alumni Association
Support your alma mater while taking advantage of great benefits for yourself by joining the UCSC Alumni Association.
Through the association, graduates give back to the campus. Last year, the association gave out $73,000 in scholarships, generally based on financial need (see photo, right). Thirty percent of each member's annual dues support special projects and activities at the colleges; the association disbursed $40,000 for these purposes last year alone.
Membership offers exclusive benefits for you, including a free affinity e-mail account (email@example.com), free borrowing privileges at all UC campus libraries, invitations to special events, the Banana Slug Bulletin alumni newsletter, and more. You also get substantial savings and discounts on such services as the campus OPERS recreational facilities (including the Olympic-size pool and fitness center), the Career Center, UCSC Extension, Bay Tree Bookstore online purchases, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Seymour Marine Discovery Center membership, the Kaplan Educational Center (offering grad school test preparation), the San Jose Repertory Theater, and others.
Joining is easy, convenient, and affordable. Annual dues are $35, and life memberships are $450. Join online at alumni.ucsc.edu or call the Alumni Association at (800) 933-SLUG.
Save these 2005 dates:
Your e-mail address can save time, money, trees
The UCSC Online Community has e-mail addresses for roughly 16,000 alumni, or about 25 percent of the alumni population. If your e-mail address isn't yet in the Online Community, now's the time to add it to ensure that old friends can find youand that you'll hear about events for "banana slugs."
Environmental considerations as well as budget cuts have led the campus to use e-mail for invitations and news. Future UCSC reunion invitations, for example, will only be sent by e-mail.
Alumni Association chapters in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Boston have used e-mail exclusively to invite locals to happy hours, lectures, and other gatherings. Events with low budgets or short lead times can succeed as never before with the use of e-mail.
Sharing your e-mail address with friends and the campus is easy. Go to the Alumni Association's Online Community (alumni.ucsc.edu), e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Alumni Association toll free at (800) 933-SLUG.
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