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  • Kristin Luciani
  • Christine Clark

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  • Kristin Luciani
  • Christine Clark

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Campus Volunteers Help Welcome More than 20,000 Admitted Students and Families to Triton Day

Photos by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

Volunteer50: Chancellor’s Call to Service

Established as part of UC San Diego’s 50th Anniversary celebration in 2010, Volunteer50 encourages all students, staff, faculty, alumni and campus friends to give back to the community through volunteer service. The organization connects campus members with local service opportunities and highlights the impact of UC San Diego’s commitment to public service, for which it has been ranked first in the nation by Washington Monthly for the past four years. To learn more and get involved, visit

Hundreds of volunteers arrived on campus Saturday to welcome newly admitted freshmen to UC San Diego for Triton Day. Now in its third year, Triton Day is an annual event designed to inspire admitted freshmen to see themselves as future Tritons and accept their offer of admission from the campus. From greeting students and families in the parking lot to helping set up booths, answering questions and managing the schedule of entertainment, campus volunteers were involved in nearly every aspect of the day, helping to ensure it left a memorable first impression of UC San Diego.

More than 20,000 admitted students and their families participated in Triton Day, which included academic information sessions, live entertainment, social mixers and a showcase of student resources and organizations. For many admitted students, Triton Day was their first opportunity to experience UC San Diego and its sprawling grounds and ocean views, dynamic campus community and expansive research and collaborative opportunities—all factors students will weigh when deciding which university to attend in the fall.

Marisol Solaris from Palm Springs, who was admitted to John Muir College, said the day helped cement UC San Diego as her top choice. “I really liked it,” said Solaris. “I want to be here. The campus seems very student-oriented.”

Volunteer50, a campus-wide initiative that aims to inspire and celebrate community service at UC San Diego, recruited 172 volunteers for the 2014 Triton Day—the most the organization has recruited for a single event since Volunteer50 was established in 2010. Volunteers included students of all different majors, staff members from a variety of campus departments, alumni and community friends who all had the common initiative to share their enthusiasm for UC San Diego with new students.

“I volunteer every year for Triton Day and it’s a lot of fun,” said UC San Diego alumna Dr. Elaine Tanaka,’97. “I enjoy meeting the new students and learning about where they are going. They are all amazing, and I feel like I know the campus well enough that I can offer a good sense of what it’s like to be a student here.”

An additional 250 student and staff volunteers from the six colleges helped to introduce admitted students to the college system, sharing how this unique campus design enables students to enjoy many of the advantages of a small liberal arts college combined with the resources of a large research university. Guests had the opportunity to tour residence halls, participate in panel discussions with current students and enjoy performances by student organizations and other college-based activities.

“At Muir College, our undergraduate volunteers help give new admits an inside look at what it’s like to be a student here,” said Katy Brecht, coordinator of student activities at John Muir College and a UC San Diego graduate. “Connecting with a person is much more meaningful than just sitting in a lecture hall. Those one-on-one experiences help make admitted students feel more comfortable and welcomed at UC San Diego.”

Rodrigo Aranda, who was admitted to John Muir College, said the day helped capture what UC San Diego has to offer students. “I definitely felt like I got a sneak peak of what the college experience is like here.”

Triton Day on Social Media

See how Triton Day was captured on social media on our Storify page.

For Forrest Mauldin, who was admitted to Eleanor Roosevelt College, the day was also an opportunity to get to know the people who make up the UC San Diego community. “Everyone has been really nice and sincere,” he said. “It’s been a really positive experience.”

While admitted freshmen were discovering the Triton experience that awaits them in the fall, middle and high school students had the opportunity to gain information about planning for their college journey. Held at the UC San Diego Faculty Club from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the College Prep for Future Tritons information session provided local 6th through 11th grade students and their families with guidance on how to plan for, get into and pay for college at UC San Diego.

Makayla Mack, a junior in high school, found the session to be very informative. “This is my dream college,” Mack said. “I can definitely see myself here.”

Scott Harris, a junior, said he also found the session informative, especially on the topic of how best to prepare college applications and personal essays.

Photo by Erika Johnson/University Communications

Leading into Triton Day, the 5th annual Black Family Get-together on April 4 welcomed more than 200 admitted students, current students, staff, faculty, campus leaders, alumni and community members—including 38 admits who participated in the Black Student Union’s overnight program. The evening featured a dinner and live entertainment with a talent show in which current students sang and danced for attendees. Guest speakers included Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla, Black Resource Center Director Stacia Solomon and UC San Diego alumna and senior academic advisor Stephanie Muldrow. An impromptu dance party capped off the night.

Photo by Brook Williamson/Chancellor Communications

“Programs like the Black Family Get-together help send the message that students recently admitted to UC San Diego will have a home here that values their own personal experiences,” said Cynthia Davalos, special assistant to the vice chancellor of Student Affairs. “It’s a fun and festive environment that highlights the amazing African-American community and campus supporters at UC San Diego.”

The annual Black Family Get-together is a collaborative effort, coordinated and funded by Student Affairs, the office for Equity Diversity and Inclusion and the Chancellor’s Office. To see more photos from the get-together, see the Chancellor’s blog.

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