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Triton Family Gathers at Founders’ Day to Usher in New Campus Era

Pradeep K. Khosla officially named UC San Diego’s eighth chancellor at investiture

Photos by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

Roger Revelle, one of the founding fathers of UC San Diego, once said that the way to the future may derive from honoring the past. This sentiment was echoed at UC San Diego’s Founders’ Day, which commemorated the day the campus was officially founded in 1960.

At the celebration Friday, members of the Triton family gathered to witness history in the making as Pradeep K. Khosla was invested as UC San Diego’s eighth chancellor by University of California President Mark Yudof.  Khosla was presented with a special Chancellor’s Medal by Yudof featuring engravings of the names of all the previous chancellors.

“As UC San Diego’s eighth Chancellor, I look forward to working with you to define our future and create opportunity for all,” Khosla said.

Before Khosla took the stage for his investiture, attendees enjoyed a multimedia recounting of UC San Diego’s history through the tenures of the university’s previous seven chancellors.

“Our founders had the goal of establishing an experimental campus,” Khosla said. “One that would define the future of education and research. Their vision, their work and their successes led us on an upward trajectory to where we are today.”

Khosla addressed the challenges UC San Diego faces with the state of California’s continuous disinvestment in higher education.

In acknowledging the passage of Proposition 30, Khosla noted, “We are pleased that the citizens of California recognize the value of higher education, but we also realize we have moved into a different era. [We are in an era] where we need to be more self-sufficient, think outside the box, take risks to move forward, and look for opportunities where we see challenges.”

Khosla praised UC San Diego’s students and emphasized how critical they are to the campus’s tradition of excellence.

“From our early outreach, to ensuring accessibility and affordability and creating the best possible student experience, it is our responsibility to educate the next generation of scientists, artists, doctors and engineers,” he said.

He added that UC San Diego will continue to educate students of every race, class and creed, a statement that was met with tremendous applause.

Khosla spoke briefly about his personal history and how he seized the opportunity to come to the United States from India as a graduate student.

“I am where I am today because of the opportunity that I was provided,” he said. “And with great opportunity comes great responsibility.  As your chancellor, I know that I must pay it forward.”

After the program, a festival was held in Town Square featuring interactive affinity booths, music, games, giveaways and gourmet food truck fare. 

The affinity booths, which showcased nearly 20 academic departments and campus organizations with games, scenic displays and giveaways, were a big hit with the crowd.

“I loved the Scripps Institution of Oceanography display and the experiments at the Physical Sciences booth were really interesting,” said Angie Ng, a senior at Warren College. “This is a really good opportunity if you want to be able to explore the various academic departments and see everything that UC San Diego has to offer.”

UC San Diego’s Division of Arts and Humanities had a show-stopping booth that featured performances from actors, dancers and musicians from the department of theatre and dance and the department of music. In addition, passersby had a chance to catch screenings of short films created by UC San Diego’s visual artists. 

Over at the UC San Diego Extension booth, the era in which the continuing education program was founded, the 60s, was embraced with tie-dye, flower power music and “positive” protests that promoted Extension’s various educational programs. Staff marched and carried signs with slogans such as “We retrain people! “We enhance job skills!” and “We have online courses!”

Robie Wittman, a K-12 program manager at UC San Diego Extension, said: “We wanted to inform undergraduates about the free certificate programs we offer, a way for them to gain practical knowledge to launch them into a great career.”

The Jacobs School of Engineering also had an interactive affinity booth where attendees got to use ping pong balls to conduct the classic “Rutherford’s Rampage” experiment, which probes the structure of the atom.

Additional fun was had on Rupertus way, which featured bites from some of the best gourmet food trucks in the region. People lined up for free samplings of eats from Devilicious, Flippin’ Pizza, Super Q and The Dog Stand. In addition, Café Collabria had a coffee stand which offered complimentary espressos, lattes and more. 

Throughout the festival, there was live entertainment from the UCSD Tritones, Pep Band, King Triton and artists from the department of music.

The entire Founders’ Day event was impressive to alumnus Elyse Hallett, ’12, a volunteer for UC San Diego’s Alumni Association.

“This is a great way for students to interact with all of the different aspects of the campus community,” she said.