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  • Erika Johnson

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  • Erika Johnson

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Celebrating the Past and Future

Founders Celebration highlights to include conversation with four UC San Diego chancellors, Ted-style talks by faculty

Learn the inside story of UC San Diego’s history from four chancellors, listen to Ted talks by extraordinary faculty and enjoy a festival in the center of campus. It’s all happening Nov. 13 to 14 at Founders Celebration—a two-day event jam-packed with food, music, exciting research and historical intrigue—in recognition of the curiosity and passion that have allowed our campus to transform the world.

“UC San Diego’s Founders Celebration is an opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come and where we are headed as we celebrate the vision, heart and resolve of our founders and campus community,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla.

An annual tradition, Founders Celebration is about honoring the leadership who paved the way for greatness while acknowledging the collective achievements of our faculty, staff and students. It is our curiosity that drives us to spark discovery—like Cal-BRAIN, a state-wide initiative in which UC San Diego is playing a leadership role to better understand the workings of the mind. It is the passion of our faculty—including Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Mario Molina—that propels solutions for improved lives and a healthier planet. And it is the resulting transformation—such as producing fuel from algae, one of the most exciting areas for the development of alternative fuels—that define the excellence that is UC San Diego.

And this year we commemorate another milestone—the 50th anniversary of the enrollment of UC San Diego’s first undergraduate students. The inaugural freshmen class, made up of 181 students, arrived at First College (later to be named Revelle College) on September 21, 1964. A tight-knit group, they launched the campus’s first newspaper, The Sandscript; chose the Triton as the school mascot; started the watermelon drop tradition; among other initiatives.

What’s new at the 2014 Founders Celebration?

We’ve added an insightful and candid conversation with UC San Diego’s current and past three chancellors; a World’s Fair-themed festival full of fun, games and a tasty food; and a chance to win gift cards to some of UC San Diego’s most popular eateries.

Following is a glimpse at the Founders Celebration signature events; for more details, visit


Founders Symposium: Short talks by extraordinary minds

Reception: 4-5 p.m., Nov. 13, The Loft

Symposium: 5-7 p.m., Nov. 13, Price Center East Ballroom

Wonder how research happening at UC San Diego translates into real-world benefits? Six UC San Diego standout faculty will present interactive Ted talks – Founders style – on climate change and personalized medicine. Prior to the symposium, join us for a reception where undergraduates will share how they are working to address issues such as poverty, health, education and the environment. The reception and symposium are free and open to the public.

Six UC San Diego standout faculty will present interactive Ted talks

Through Their Eyes: A Conversation with Our Chancellors

11:30 a.m., Nov. 14, Price Center East Ballroom

They are UC San Diego’s most passionate advocates, and they will share their insightful stories and experiences. Richard C. Atkinson, Robert C. Dynes, Marye Anne Fox and Pradeep K. Khosla—UC San Diego’s fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth chancellors—will convene for a candid conversation about the evolution of our campus through their eyes. The talk is free and open to the public.

Founders Day Festival

Founders Day Festival: What wonder will you find at the World’s Fair?

Noon to 2 p.m., Nov. 14, Town Square

What is a food circus, you may ask? Find out at the Founders Day Festival! Entertainers, tasty treats and interactive booths will abound in Town Square—featuring exhibits, games and giveaways from UC San Diego Alumni, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Division of Arts and Humanities, and many other campus areas. Connect with friends and colleagues at the free festival, open to the campus and local community.

Hullabaloo: Eat, play, dance

Hullabaloo: Eat, play, dance

8 p.m. – midnight, Nov. 14, Town Square and Matthews Quad

When the sun sets, the glow sticks will light up and amusement rides will spring into life for Hullabaloo, a festival organized by A.S. Concerts and Events. Current undergraduate students are invited to eat, play and dance—the event will include free food, student-run booths and live performances. Attendees must have a valid student ID.

And there’s more—including trivia and photo contests

Take photos at any of the Founders Celebration events and you could win a $75 gift card to The Loft! Simply snap, share on Instagram or Twitter with #ucsdfounders, and you’ll be entered to win. And starting the week of Oct. 27, play a UC San Diego historical trivia contest with a chance to win a $25 gift card to Home Plate, Porter’s Pub and Perks! Questions will be posted to the UC San Diego Life Facebook page—enter the correct answer in the comments section and you will be entered to win. (Check out for hints!)

Also, as part of Founders Celebration, Chancellor Khosla will honor several Triton visionaries who have made an impact with their time, talent and treasure. Alumni Sue and Steve Hart, and businessman and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, will receive the 2014 Chancellor’s Medal—one of the highest awards given by UC San Diego to honor exceptional service in support of the campus’s mission. University professor and National Medal of Science recipient Shu Chien, along with distinguished professor emeritus and founding dean of the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies Peter Gourevitch, will receive the 2014 Roger Revelle Medal, which recognizes current and former faculty for sustained, distinguished and extraordinary service to the campus. Each of the medals will be bestowed upon the respective honorees at UC San Diego’s annual FoundersDinner on Nov. 15.

Visit the Founders Celebration website for more information about activities and events.

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