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Alumni Play Integral Role in Campus Fundraising

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UC San Diego Alumnus Kenneth Kroner

In March, the university will celebrate the kickoff of the public phase of The Campaign for UC San Diego, a bold, ambitious and historic $2 billion fundraising effort. Our alumni are playing an integral role in the campaign, led by Kenneth Kroner, Ph.D. ’88, a renowned global finance innovator who is chairing the International Leadership Committee.

Kroner is an enthusiastic and committed UC San Diego champion who has continuously remained connected and engaged with students, faculty and academic leaders. He and his wife, Jennifer, established the Kroner Family Endowed Fellowship in 2013 to help recruit and support outstanding Social Sciences graduate students. Just last year, Kroner received UC San Diego’s Distinguished Alumni Award, and he recently began service as a UC San Diego Foundation Board trustee.

“I will never forget the time and effort that the people at UC San Diego put into me,” said Kroner, recalling his Ph.D. studies in Economics. “I am where I am right now, in large part, because of faculty like Nobel laureates Rob Engle and Clive Granger, among others. I grew up at UC San Diego. I showed up as a kid who rarely left Canada, and went to this great urban environment at a great university surrounded by great scholars … and five years later I was an adult.”

Giving back to UC San Diego is important to Kroner, and he thinks it will be for other alumni as well. “We have over 170,000 alumni who can play a key role in the campus’s future. In addition to giving, alumni need to be out there evangelizing. We’re among the top 15 research universities in the world, 16th in the world for scientific impact, a top ten public university in the nation and number one for positive impact. UC San Diego is really really good. And as alumni, we need to be shouting the university’s accomplishments from the rooftop. We need to be talking about how great UC San Diego is.”

As an economic driver and the largest employer based in the region, he hopes the university will also see broader private support from within San Diego. “Here in the community, there are more than 200 active UC San Diego-related companies generating more than $30 billion in annual revenues. The bottom line is that some of that $30 billion should be coming back to the university.”

The campus has tremendous impacts beyond the region, and Kroner is pleased that the new branding efforts are sharing that message with a national audience. “Some people see the campus as this sleepy surfing school on the beach. That is so contrary to the reality of what UC San Diego actually is. We are shaping students’ lives constantly. We are teaching them how to break things better, to use the ad theme. I love ‘break things better,’ by the way, because what it means is we’re creating the next generation of disruptors and the next generation of innovators. It means we are making the world better, making the world smarter, making it more sustainable. That’s an impact you would expect a top 15 research university to have, and that is the impact UC San Diego is having on the world.”