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Striking Alumni Tower Planned for UC San Diego Center

The new gateway to campus takes shape.

A sepia-toned aerial of a military base in a dry, arid region
A sprawling Camp Matthews in 1966. Photo: Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego

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This article originally appeared in the spring 2024 issue of UC San Diego Magazine as “Home Base.”

This is the former U.S. Marine Corps base Camp Matthews. Over a million recruits were trained here starting in 1917. After 50 years, the base was decommissioned and the land was transferred to the University of California — a home for its newest campus, UC San Diego.

From the start, UC San Diego students have lived among the relics of Camp Matthews: Curved Quonset huts and one-story wooden buildings, previously used as barracks or mess halls, were repurposed as lecture rooms, artist workshops and even the University Bookstore. 

Yet while the campus has experienced marked growth and is recognized for its global contribution to cutting-edge research, these structures have remained — a visual reminder of our past, of what came before. 

And now we look toward the future

Triton Center, a new campus gateway, will replace the remaining Camp Matthews buildings and centralize essential student programs and services. It also will create a welcoming, socially dynamic and memorable destination to showcase the unique accomplishments, heritage, art and culture of UC San Diego. 

“Triton Center at UC San Diego is one of the most momentous and transformative projects in the history of our university,” says Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “This project has been central to our long-range development plan to create a dynamic campus that is a destination for students, alumni and our extended community.”  

With student support resources and programs at the heart of campus and surrounding a new plaza, Triton Center will include services for student health and wellness; student success through a teaching and learning commons, transfer student hub and global initiatives; a celebration space and the Strauss Family Meta Gallery; and at the northernmost point of the plaza, the multistory Triton Alumni and Welcome Center.

A multi-story circular tower cloaked in a mesh facade stands in a plaza at dusk
With an engaging, pedestrian-friendly campus gateway, the Triton Alumni and Welcome Center, part of the new Triton Center, will be the starting point for prospective students and their families to consider a future at UC San Diego, Watch the live construction video at Photo: LMN Architects

“We are a student-centered community, and the co-location of student programs and resources at Triton Center reflects this value for our campus and for our future students and their families and loved ones,” says Alysson Satterlund, vice chancellor for student affairs and campus life. “Through the Triton Alumni and Welcome Center, we can now demonstrate a lifelong commitment to all our students — past, present and future — while affirming that they are central to our history and shared future.”

The four-building complex will consolidate existing campus resources that help all students grow and succeed. “Triton Center is an investment for future students, alumni and our campus,” says undergraduate Arleth Marisol Chavez-Rodriguez. “It will expose students to different mindsets, cultures and lived experiences in a vibrant and diverse campus town-square environment.” 

Spotlight: Triton Alumni and Welcome Center

The Triton Alumni and Welcome Center will be home to the first-ever alumni center for UC San Diego — a tribute to its graduates now 245,000 strong — and its prospective and current students.

“I am full of hope and excitement about the Triton Alumni and Welcome Center and the many possibilities that it will open up,” says Taner Halıcıoğlu ’96, who pledged $25 million in support of the project.

This alumni and student hub will unite Tritons across generations and offer a place to socialize, gather and collaborate. Imagine a memorable starting point for prospective students and their families to explore campus, a place for students and alumni to meet, and a home for alumni. And all of this is designed as a celebration of the campus’s remarkable achievements and impressive history. 

Connections are a key component of the new Triton Alumni and Welcome Center.

“Connections with other students filled with big ideas, faculty who challenge us to aim higher, and fellow alumni who share our desire to make change in the world have, for me, always been at the heart of UC San Diego’s identity,” adds Halıcıoğlu.

In addition, Sandra Timmons ’81 and Richard L. Sandstrom ’72, PhD ’79, who met when they were both UC San Diego students, have pledged $2 million to support the Triton Alumni and Welcome Center. “We believe in the importance of having a central place for the campus community to gather and for alumni to connect and mentor UC San Diego students,” says Timmons. The sixth floor of the Triton Alumni and Welcome Center — featuring a lounge, library and outdoor terrace — will be named in recognition of their gift.

The Triton Alumni and Welcome Center is expected to open in 2026.

Learn more and support the new center at

This article originally appeared in the spring 2024 issue of UC San Diego Magazine as “Home Base.”

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