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Light It Up: UC San Diego
Athletic Board Key to Triton Success

Thanks to special group of alumni, parents
and friends, campus baseball field is ready for lights

February 19, 2009

By Jade Griffin

Alumni, parents and friends on the Athletic Board have supported improvements to the baseball field, as well as other areas of campus.

A special call went out to the sidelines at the University of California, San Diego recently, and alumni, parents and friends responded, loud and clear, with their support. Generous donations totaling more than $200,000 will help light up the UC San Diego baseball field. The gifts funded bringing electrical utilities to the field, which will allow lights to be installed to accommodate night play—essential for hosting championships and additional community events. Further upgrades including a scoreboard, team room, press box and more comfortable accommodations for fans will also now be possible.

One particular group of alumni, parents and friends played a special role in the project: the UC San Diego Athletic Board. Comprised of 36 donor advocates, the Athletic Board is committed to helping UC San Diego reach its goal of becoming the nation’s premier Division II program in the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA). Many board members participated to ensure the success of the baseball field project, including Bill Scripps and Gary Jacobs, ’79, who both provided leadership gifts.

Yet, the board members’ dedication does not stop with their personal philanthropy. Founded in 2004 by alumna parent Jerry Brand and community leader and UC San Diego Foundation trustee Jim Morris, the UC San Diego Athletic Board has played a key position from the sidelines. The group has supported a wide range of athletic initiatives including updates to the baseball and softball fields, recruitment and assistance with UC San Diego Athletics’ greatest needs. The board has also helped to build awareness of UC San Diego’s excellent athletic program as well as its fundraising needs, even creating the first video spotlighting the Tritons, which can be seen at www.ucsdtritons.com.

The efforts of the board to enhance Athletics at UCSD have yielded impressive results. UC San Diego Athletics was recently ranked as the nation’s top NCAA Division II program in the National Collegiate Scouting Association’s “Collegiate Power Rankings” based on student-athlete graduation rates, academic strength and athletic prowess. 

Photo of Whitney Johnson
The Athletic Board helps provide talented student-athletes with the best intercollegiate athletics experience possible.

As director of UC San Diego Athletics, Earl Edwards considers the Athletic Board’s support invaluable: “The devotion of the board members has made a great impact for our student-athletes. The board has helped to upgrade facilities, recruit stellar coaches and build awareness of UC San Diego’s athletic strength. Their support validates the great accomplishments of our student-athletes, which is something that you can’t put a price on.”

“By supporting UC San Diego Athletics in this way, we are investing in UCSD’s talented students-athletes who will go on to become leaders in whatever field they choose,” said Morris, a real estate and private equity investor. “The Athletic Board has been able to accomplish some very great things. We’ve worked to raise visibility and capital, and we’ve seen the program move from NCAA Division III to Division II.”

As UC San Diego Athletics embarks on a new era of expansion, the board is serving in an ever-growing capacity to expand the reach and accomplishments of the program, ensuring that its student-athletes have access to the best intercollegiate athletics experience possible. 

“There are many life lessons to be learned in sports, particularly in team sports,” noted Morris. “Most of all, these kids learn that being something bigger than yourself is very important.”

Current members of the UC San Diego Athletic Board include: Roger Anderson; Steve Altman; Matthew Belshin, ’82; Fred Borrelli; Mark Bracker; Jerry Brand; Tony Carr; Dana Chaiken, ’91; Patrick Connors; John DeBello, ’75; Kim Doren; David J. Dorne; Mark Gleiberman; Shale and Gigi Imeson; Gary Jacobs, ’79; Hal Jacobs, ’82; Erik Judson, ’91; Marc Lanci; Jim Morris; Paul D. Moss; Doug Mulvey, ’76; Brandon Nixon, ’87; Bill Scripps; Dick A. Semerdjian, ’81; Scott Cameron Smith, ’77; Edward P. Wallace Jr.; and Thomas V. Wornham. Linden Blue; Robert Breitbard; Malin Burnham; Anne Evans; Ron Fowler; Herb Klein; John Moores; Peter Preuss, ’67; and Duane Roth are honorary members. 

To learn more about the UC San Diego Athletic Board and supporting Athletics, please call (858) 534-3540 or visit www.givetoathletics.ucsd.edu.

Giving to UC San Diego
Founded in 1960, the University of California, San Diego is ranked the 7th best public university in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, and has been named the “hottest” institution to study science by Newsweek. But with higher education’s share of state revenue declining each year, UC San Diego must increasingly rely on financial support from private sources to pursue groundbreaking research and cutting-edge technologies. With the support of generous alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students and friends, our campus can continue to provide local impact, national influence and global reach as one of the world’s leading education and research institutions.  For more information, call 858-534-1610 or visit www.giving.ucsd.edu.


Media Contact: Jade Griffin, 858-822-5309

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