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Students Urged to Make Their
Mark at First-Ever Campuswide Convocation

By Ioana Patringenaru | September 25, 2006

Volunteer. Study abroad. Get to know your professors. Above all, get involved.

Chancellor Marye Anne Fox speaks
Sept. 17 during UCSD's first campuswide convocation.

Chancellor Marye Anne Fox, Associated Students President Harry Khanna, faculty and alumni welcomed freshmen and transfer students with advice and praise during UCSD’s first campuswide convocation ceremony, held Sept. 17 on the Sun God Lawn.

“You’re now part of a group of very exceptional people: uncommon scholars and global citizens,” said Jorge Huerta, the campus’ Chief Diversity Officer. “You represent the best of the best.”

UCSD's first-ever campuswide convocation kicked off campus Welcome Week activities, which included the Triton Power Hour, a meet-and-greet with Chancellor Fox, several dances and many barbecues.

Because California pitches in $10,000 for each UC student, all UCSD students are scholarship students, Chancellor Fox said. Fox also highlighted some of the campus’ strengths.

Associated Students President
Harry Khanna speaks in front of the Sun God statue.

“We have a tradition of innovation here at UCSD,” she said.

Faculty and alumni have created about 250 companies, including about one-third of local biotech businesses. The Department of Theatre and Dance is ranked third in the nation and UCSD-TV has won several Emmys. Last spring, about 100 students spent their spring break helping the poor and needy all over the world. Many went to New Orleans to help Hurricane Katrina victims, Fox said.

“Our students’ commitment to education extends beyond the classroom,” she said. “UCSD students think and act with passion.” 

Other Welcome Week Stories:
Freshmen & Parents - Then & Now

Triton Power Hour

UnOlympics Picture Gallery

A.S. President Khanna also urged students to get involved. In January, students from all UC campuses rallied at UCSD and successfully lobbied the Board of Regents to withdraw UC investments from companies doing business with Sudan, Khanna told students. 

“Make friends, study hard, and party hard, but never forget that you are a citizen of this world,” he said. “Find your way of making a difference.”

Travis Silva, who graduated from UCSD this summer, decided to make a difference by joining Teach for America. He is now working in a San Francisco Bay Area middle school where many children come from immigrant families. Silva had gone to Mexico to research illegal immigration during his time at UCSD. He encouraged students to study abroad.

“Look around you and see what is wrong and go out and try to fix it,” he said. “UCSD allows you to expand your world view and truly be a global citizen.”

Ralph Keeling, a professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD, talks about global warming.

Students also can make a difference in the classroom and the laboratory, said Ralph Keeling, a global warming researcher at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD.

“It’s a very exciting time to study the earth,” Keeling said. “Humans have never faced a challenge on this scale before.”

There are a few simple things everyone can do to help fight global warming, he added. For example, offices could turn off air conditioners and conserve energy if everyone stopped wearing coats and ties in the summer, said Keeling, who was wearing a short-sleeved casual shirt. Chancellor Fox promptly removed her coat, drawing laughter from the crowd. Finally, Keeling had some career advice for students. Find a job you’re good at, that you like and that is valued by others, he said.

“In some sense, this treasure hunt must remain a lifetime quest,” he said.

After the convocation, freshmen Samuel Bostick, Ashley Risch and Chelsea Petker said they liked the event, particularly Silva’s speech.

“You got motivated to get involved,” Risch said.  


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