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Supporting Our Students: Chancellor’s 5K
on Oct. 23 to Help Deserving Undergraduate Scholars

Jade Griffin | Oct. 5, 2009

Chancellor's 5-K
Xochitl Cortez-Gonzalez at the 2008 Chancellor's Challenge 5K Run/Walk for Scholars.

“Undergraduate scholarships enable promising students to get a college education,” noted Kenneth Wong ’10, a double-major in third world studies and microbiology, and recipient of a Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Scholarship.  “Scholarships empower eager students.”

In an effort to fuel undergraduate scholarships at UC San Diego, the campus community will rally together on Oct. 23 for the 14th annual Chancellor’s Challenge 5K Run/Walk for Scholars.  Since its founding in 1996, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, students, friends and community sponsors have raised $2.12 million for scholarships, benefiting more than 800 outstanding undergraduates — just like Wong.

Thanks to the scholarship support he has received during his time at UC San Diego, Wong was able to participate in an undergraduate research project in Ghana to study pediatric malaria treatment. The experience—impossible without the scholarship he received from the Chancellor’s Challenge 5K—confirmed his career goal of helping make medication and vaccines available to underserved populations. 

“By supporting our promising students today, we are investing in the leaders of tomorrow and the future of California,” said Chancellor Marye Anne Fox. 

Leading the challenge, Fox will direct funding designated for undergraduate students from a private philanthropic foundation, adding $5,000 for every $50,000 raised, and matching new and increased gifts up to $40,000.

“With state funding on the decline and recent increases in student fees, scholarships are of critical importance for our students’ continued success,” said Fox.

Chancellor's 5-K
Chancellor Marye Anne Fox addressed the crowd at the 2008 Chancellor's Challenge 5K.

The fee to participate in the Chancellor’s Challenge 5K is $10 for students, $15 for all others. Day of race registration is $15 for students and $20 for others.  Sponsorship opportunities are also available, with proceeds directly benefiting undergraduate scholarships at UC San Diego.  Gifts to the Chancellor’s Challenge 5K contribute to the $50 million fundraising goal of Invent the Future: The UC San Diego Student Support Campaign.

 “I’m really thankful to those who made my scholarship possible,” said Wong, who will be present for the festivities. “Without it, I would not have gained the firsthand experience in West Africa that opened my eyes to public health issues that I had never considered.”
The Oct. 23 race will begin at 12:15 p.m. from the North Campus Field, adjacent to RIMAC, and will continue on a scenic course through the UC San Diego campus.  Participants may run or walk the 5K course.  Lunch and a brief awards presentation will follow. 

To ensure that the event is as environmentally sustainable as possible, the Wellness Center and USE Credit Union will provide reusable water bottles for participants.  Online gifts and registration are also encouraged to minimize paper usage. 

Event sponsors include Fisher Scientific; Darcy and Robert Bingham; Amylin Pharmaceuticals; the UCSD Emeriti Association; Arthur Brody and Phyllis Cohn; the Dr. Seuss Foundation; Peter ’67 and Peggy Preuss; UCSD Alumni Association; USE Credit Union; Andrew and Erna Viterbi; the UCSD Retirement Association; Alan Swinney, ’89; The Burnham Foundation; Pauline Foster; Regents Bank; and Oceanids.

To register for the Chancellor’s Challenge 5K and support undergraduate scholarships with an online gift, please visit  To volunteer for the event, please email  In the event that weather precludes running or walking along the course, lunch and t-shirts will still be provided inside RIMAC Arena. 


Chancellor’s Champion
The 2009 Chancellor’s Challenge 5K will feature the return of the Chancellor’s Champion contest, in which students, faculty, staff and alumni will race against each other in friendly competition.  Each group has selected a representative runner to compete for the coveted title of “Chancellor’s Champion.”  The winning designee will receive a roaming award, engraved with their name, and lunch with Chancellor Fox. Allan Timmerman, a professor at the Rady School of  Management, took last year’s title.  This year, it’s anyone’s race.  The contenders include:


Photo of Sam Corbett

Sam Corbett
Staff Member

Sam Corbett works as assistant director in Transportation Services, overseeing parking at both UC San Diego Medical Center campuses, as well as the campus’s alternative transportation programs. Since he began running seven years ago, he has participated in numerous long-distance runs, including the Boston Marathon. His goal is to finish the Chancellor’s Challenge 5K course in less than 18 minutes this year. 

“The Chancellors Challenge 5K is a great opportunity to contribute to undergraduate scholarships at UCSD … plus it’s a whole lot of fun!


Photo of Jarrod Hammes

Jarrod Hammes ’00

A San Diego native, Jarrod Hammes serves as vice president of marketing of IPVN, a leading provider of IP video transport products based in Sorrento Valley. Hammes recently earned his MBA from UC San Diego’s Rady School of Management. He received his undergraduate degree in political science at UC San Diego in 2000.

Jarrod is looking forward to returning to campus to race UC San Diego’s track team and other alumni in the 200m at UC San Diego’s annual Blue/Gold Alumni Meet next year. But first, he will hone his racing skills during the Chancellor’s Challenge 5K.


Photo of Cody Higginson

Cody Higginson ’10

A fourth year Muir College student, Higginson is majoring in pharmacological chemistry at UC San Diego.  He is an undergraduate research assistant within the chemistry and biochemistry department’s Hermann research group, which studies the molecular recognition of RNA by small molecules to facilitate RNA-directed therapies.  Despite his busy schedule, Higginson still finds time to serve as an active runner and officer of the UCSD Strides Running Club.

Higginson, who loves running, says: “I enjoy running as a way of clearing my head.”


Photo of Dan Scanderbeg

Dan Scanderbeg ’00

Dan Scanderbeg completed his undergraduate work at UC San Diego with a major in physics in 2000.  As an undergraduate of Revelle College, he co-founded the UCSD triathlon team and trained with the UCSD Master’s sports program.  Scanderbeg continued with his graduate work at UC San Diego in the material science and engineering program.  He currently serves as an assistant professor of radiation oncology at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center. 

Scanderbeg continues to compete in running and triathlon events.  Impressively, he ran alongside Lance Armstrong in the 2008 Boston Marathon.  He also enjoys surfing and scuba diving.


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