UC San Diego News Center


Founders’ Day to Meld Tradition with Fun, Food and Frivolity

Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

Food truck wars at Founders’ Day?  You bet! The newest UC San Diego campus tradition has been lightened up with a shorter program and added whimsy to make Founders’ Day a fun, free event for the entire campus community.

Win a $200 Party at Zanzibar Café!

In honor of Founders’ Celebration, the campus is hosting a video contest to highlight the remarkable innovations of UC San Diego students, staff, faculty and alumni. The winning video will earn a premiere party at The Loft, with a $200 gift certificate to Zanzibar. Read the complete rules.

Deadline for entries is Wednesday, November 9!

Faculty, staff, students, alumni and university friends are invited to commemorate Founders’ Day on Friday, Nov. 18 in Town Square. Attendees can browse booths manned by various divisions, colleges and organizations beginning at 11:30 a.m. A brief program honoring UC San Diego’s past and looking forward to our future takes place from noon to 12:30 p.m. Then, a street festival celebration follows from 12:30-1:30 p.m. with affinity booths, raffles and prizes; music by the UC San Diego Pep Band; and a sampling of fun fare from San Diego’s most popular food trucks.

Food truck wars have been featured on cable TV and in the news recently. Today, many gourmet food trucks are operated by professionally trained chefs, bringing mobile cuisine that incorporates the latest trends and local ingredients to a growing number of fans. Although it won’t exactly be a food war on our campus, there will be dueling dishes in Town Square with a selection of free gourmet treats from Tabe BBQ, Flippin Pizza, Green Truck, Corner Cupcakes and Super Q Food Truck.  Each truck will be serving one free item especially selected for those attending Founders’ Day activities.

corner cupcakes

Corner Cupcakes was one of the first gourmet food trucks in San Diego. Business has been booming for the owners, who left corporate jobs to follow their entrepreneurial dreams—although they didn’t envision that their business would be on wheels. “It was probably a blessing in disguise that the banks weren’t in the lending mood for a bricks and mortar store,” shared co-owner Amanda Schnitzius. Today, the truck offers fresh cupcakes baked from scratch each morning, and offers customers the option of choosing their cake flavor and frosting to customize their treat exactly to their liking. 

Corner Cupcakes will be serving a free sample pack of three mini cupcakes to attendees at Founders’ Day.  “We are excited to help commemorate the establishment of my alma mater and to be a part of this fun celebration,” said co-owner Tina McClelland, a graduate of UC San Diego.

Super Q Food Truck also has UC San Diego ties.  “I actually went to UCSD as a student for one year, attending Warren College. Unfortunately, I moved away and never finished,” said J.R. Kaminski, whose family has been in the restaurant business for four generations. While looking for ways to cater at the annual ComicCon convention in downtown San Diego, the family determined that the food truck business was an up and coming industry, so they all hopped on and Super Q was born.

Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

Founder's Day attendees will receive free BBQ Asada Fries from Super Q. “This was my invention,” added Kaminski. “It is a play on carne asada fries that so many Californians are familiar with, but we do it BBQ style!”

Students will have an opportunity to celebrate at Founders’ Day, and then into the night with UC San Diego’s first annual Hullabaloo festival presented by AS Concerts and Events on Nov. 18 from 6 p.m. to 11:45 p.m.  Associated Students will turn Town Square and the Loft into dance stages with student talent, professional DJs and nationally touring acts. At the free event, students can also experience adrenaline-pumping thrills on three large-scale carnival rides in Matthews Quad; in addition, various student organizations will run interactive games and booths. The entertainment and amusement rides are free for students with valid UC San Diego student IDs.  The five gourmet food trucks featured during the Founders’ Day celebration will stay on so that students can purchase items from menus featuring unique and vibrant local cuisine.

Associate Vice President of AS Concerts and Events Oliver Zhang said the new tradition still has room to grow, but added that planners feel confident. “Having rides, student organizations a part of it and food trucks—this is an event that doesn’t just focus on the artists, but still has a musical component,” he said. The lineup of artists performing at Hullabaloo includes Felix Cartal, Jokers of the Scene, DJ Philly, Deejay Stu and Jamuel Saxon (at the Loft).

Other activities that are part of Founders’ Celebration at UC San Diego include:

  • November 8, 2011: Faculty Research Award Lecture
    From 4 – 6 p.m. in the UC San Diego Faculty Club, featuring Professor Marcel Hénaff, Division of Arts and Humanities/Literature presenting: An Economy in Crisis – A Crisis of Civilization: Anthropological Perspectives on Money, Debt, and Time.
  • November 10, 2011: Faculty Research Award Lecture
    From 4 – 6 p.m. in the UC San Diego Faculty Club, featuring Professor Nicholas C. Spitzer, Division of Biological Sciences/Neurobiology presenting: The Changing Brain: How the Environment Switches Neurotransmitters and Behavior
  • November 17, 2011: Founders’ Symposium
    Flash Forward from 50: A Sneak Preview of UC San Diego’s New Directions in Research and Discovery starts at 5 p.m. in the UC San Diego Medical Education and Telemedicine Learning Building with speakers that include Dean Mark Thiemens, Division of Physical Sciences; Dean Steve A. Kay, Division of Biological Sciences; Dean Peter Cowhey, School of International Relations and Pacific Studies; and Associate Vice Chancellor George Tynan, Research.
  • November 19, 2011: Founders’ Dinner
    This ticketed event to benefit UC San Diego’s Invent the Future student support campaign will transform RIMAC arena into an early California courtyard and home, featuring exquisite food and professional musical entertainment produced by Colin McAllister, who earned his Doctor of Musical Arts from UC San Diego. Beginning at 6:00 p.m., the magical evening will also pay tribute to this year’s Chancellor’s Medal recipients—individuals whose outstanding support is integral to making innovations possible.

 Join us in celebrating today’s innovations and tomorrow’s traditions at the UC San Diego Founders’ events. More information is available at