General UCSD NewsGeneral UCSD News
Nov. 29, 2000

Media Contact: Pat JaCoby, (858) 534-7404 


The University of California, San Diego's inaugural 'Chancellor's Medal' was awarded to journalist Neil Morgan last night in recognition of his unique contributions to San Diego.

Morgan, associate editor/senior columnist of the San Diego Union-Tribune, was honored during a presentation ceremony held in UCSD's Geisel Library and attended by more than 150 San Diego civic and cultural leaders.

In presenting the medal Chancellor Robert C. Dynes noted that "Neil Morgan is first and foremost a journalist. But this 'Mr. San Diego' has worn many hats. He has been columnist, editor, author, civic leader, regional booster, and critic of the status quo.

"Tonight," Dynes said, "we honor Neil for his remarkable service in all those roles, and in one other role: that of community educator. Neil has taught us that, when you live in a region blessed by nature and circumstance, you have a duty to safeguard those blessings. He also has taught us that, when a city ascends to the world stage, it should not leave its heart behind."

Also speaking were University of California Regent John Davies, and Mary Walshok, UCSD associate chancellor for Extended Studies, both longtime friends.

Walshok noted that "the themes in Neil's life as a journalist have reflected this region's evolution, its culture and aspirations, as well as how we-as a great research university in this promising region-need to be both a driver of change and a mirror on the wall of who and what we are as a society.

"Neil has been particularly mindful of the need for great institutions such as UCSD to be not just very good at what they do, but to be active and responsible players in the communities in which they live. He has pushed us to build genuine connections between research and entrepreneurs. He urged us to help forge real bonds of trust and mutuality between San Diego and Tijuana and highlighted the work and growth of San Diego Dialogue, the Center for US/Mexico Relations, and the Institute of the Americas in the 1990s. And today he exhorts us to focus on civic engagement, leadership and, most importantly, diversity, as our region's most promising asset and vexing challenge."

An exhibit of the books authored by Morgan and memorabilia of his leadership in San Diego opened last night in the Special Collections area of the library, and will continue through December.