Scholars and Citizens

Voices from Third to Marshall

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Joe Watson
Joe Watson

“The assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in April 1968 changed everything. Before his death, UCSD wasn’t really at the forefront of social change. There was a general attitude of respect, to advance things in a way that was cooperative and polite. We were expected not to push too strongly, to wait, and be patient. With the assassination, attitudes transformed dramatically.”
—Joe Watson, former provost


man at a desk

“We had to think more deeply about what the university should be, and we needed a college to set the example—not only a major or department, but a series of majors and courses of study that address the condition of Black people worldwide. It evolved further to include more of a Third World approach, allying with MEChA and the Mexican American students.”
—Ed Spriggs ’70, founding chair of the Black Student Council



“If you look at the Lumumba-Zapata demands created by Black and Mexican-American students in 1969, it’s similar to what you hear today from young people, about how universities should be transformed to address communities that have been excluded for the last 50 years. Everything from the undergraduate population, to faculty and high-ranking administrators of color, to curriculum and access.”
—Jorge Mariscal, literature professor and former DOC director


Ashanti Houston Hands
Ashanti Houston Hands ’93

“It became a requirement for rising leaders to learn the college’s history. It is important to know where you came from, just as it’s important to understand how things began to look like everything else, and what was done to prevent that.”
—Ashanti Houston Hands ’93, former dean of student affairs







Woman seated
Leslie Carver

“The students who were behind the founding of Marshall College proposed 1/3 Black and 1/3 Chicanx students in the college, and we’re nowhere near that. It’s frustrating to me, and it’s why it remains important to keep the message out about what the college stands for. Until we can increase representation at UC San Diego overall, we’re not going to be able to increase representation at Marshall.”
—Leslie Carver, current provost





college student
Melinda Reynoso ’20

“Our college was founded through student empowerment, through students fighting for something they believed in and they thought UC San Diego needed. That message carried through my work as a student leader on campus, inspired by the fact that change can happen, and oftentimes the change that’s most impactful is what is driven by students.”
—Recent graduate Melina Reynoso ’20



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Fnann Keflezighi ’11

“Angela Davis has a quote that my team and I read every single week—‘The most important thing is to ensure whoever becomes involved in the college, students and faculty alike, carry on the legacy of struggle by which the idea of Lumumba-Zapata College was born.’ We are the inheritors, and what we do with that inheritance matters. I have a responsibility to keep that vision alive.”
— Fnann Keflezighi ’11, interim assistant dean of student affairs





college graduate
Jacob Sutherland ’20

“Marshall definitely opened my eyes to new things, issues that I had thought about before, but couldn’t put the words to.”
—Recent graduate Jacob Sutherland ’20







“I hope students feel like they could go out and change the world, or at least, their world. Because they’ll have had support and space to try things and not be perfect, but keep trying, keep showing up for others.” —Hands



Cecil Lytle

“Because the issues don’t disappear once you’ve turned in your blue book. I hope we have made our graduates comfortable with having difficult conversations. So often people shy away from difficult topics, or they run to extremes. But we’d be better off as a society to get comfortable with difficult conversations and working our way forward.”
—Cecil Lytle, former provost



“We have a lot of alumni who are incredibly engaged. We’re proud of our graduates taking the perspectives they learned here and putting them into practice. We encourage our alumni to stay engaged with the college, get involved with our 50th anniversary and attend events virtually or in-person, eventually. We want to hear from our alumni—what you’re doing and see how you are using what you’ve learned.”