A Year of Spirit


The start of a new year provides a natural opportunity to take stock of the previous year and look forward to the promise of a new one. The ample and compounding challenges of 2020 proved to be historically difficult. We faced a global pandemic, mitigated economic uncertainty, increased efforts to address systemic racism, provided knowledge and tools to understand wildfire and climate change, and navigated a polarized political landscape.

But per our usual spirit of changemaking, UC San Diego rose to the challenge with impressive results. Our hospital was the first in San Diego to treat COVID-19. Our researchers immediately dove into understanding its transmission and the long-term threats it presents to our health. Our faculty reconfigured instruction for remote, hybrid, and even outdoor learning. Our staff reimagined nearly all of our services to ensure that everyone had access to important resources. Our students and employees embraced the opportunity to Return to Learn. They fully committed to screening, testing, masking, and other policies to find tremendous success. And our alumni rallied to tackle critical social issues through expert panels, webinars, and Tritons Connect.

Together, we built new ways for our entire community to interact, learn, and grow. Our 200,000-plus alumni are proof that Tritons can rise to any occasion with compassion, inspiration, and determination. Among other things, this issue of Triton explores how alumni push the boundaries of design in “the way we wear.” Similarly, UC San Diego is advancing design at all levels. We are improving the functionality of everyday things, as well as addressing major societal issues such as automation, healthcare, social interaction, and important ethical issues that arise with technology.

For 60 years, UC San Diego’s changemakers have worked together to solve challenges and drive progress. In a year like no other, our community continued to demonstrate its pioneering and innovative spirit. It is this Triton spirit that has propelled our university faster and further than any other in the world. And it is this Triton spirit that will continue to sustain our university in the months, years, and decades to come.

With kind regards,

Pradeep K. Khosla