Reader Feedback

Reader Feedback

Wow! Between Paul Saltman, the tunnels and other campus memories, we couldn’t fit even abridged feedback in the printed magazine. Thankfully, we have our online magazine. And we love hearing from you! Share your thoughts on the latest issue of Triton with us at

The Craft Center

Thanks for the Craft Center article. It reminded me of the hours spent in the original Craft Center as a sanctuary from my studies. I would need a mental break after typing my computer punch cards, feeding them into the card reader, and debugging my program until midnight at the Muir building 5A ‘computer center’. I would stop by the Craft Center to wind down by throwing some pots. I knew where the key was hidden in order to work after hours.  The computer center would close at midnight for student work in order for the main computer to run the daily campus and administration jobs. There was only one ‘main computer’ which was shared by the students and the campus. I would return to the computer center in the morning to see if my program was successful. The Craft Center was where I could relax and release the pressures of my Revelle studies. I am sure that the Craft Center has helped others ‘center themselves’, as it was a wonderful mental life-saver for me.  It meant so much to me, that I kept a poster from a 1974 craft center sale, where I was able to sell some of my creations. I still have some pottery (some of it is actually not too bad!) from those days, which brings me a smile. Thanks again for the article and the memories.
—John Yager ’75

Paul Saltman

I enjoyed your article on Paul Saltman. I had a few chances to chat with him when I was a Chemistry Ph.D. from 1976–1982. Two stories:

When basketball great Bill Walton was playing for the San Diego Clippers in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s he missed several years due to foot injuries. Professor Saltman created a milkshake for him full of the trace minerals that Saltman felt were missing from the diet of Walton, a vegetarian. This got a lot of press in the newspapers. Maybe a year later, with Walton still sidelined due to his foot injuries, I happened to ask Saltman why Walton still wasn’t playing. His reply was pure Saltman: “the big schnook, he stopped drinking the milkshakes!”

Saltman was filmed taking LSD around 1963, when he was a professor at USC. It’s pretty hilarious to watch him turn from a straight-laced professor in a white shirt and tie, to “Oh, wow!” after a few hours. I believe he would reward his biology classes at the end of the term by showing the movie. I don’t remember exactly how I ended up seeing it but it was fun!
—Dave Jaffe, PhD ’82

“The elegance is in its simplicity”— Uncle Paul describing various biological mechanisms.
—Tim Luey ‘77

In 1974, while a UCSD sophomore, I went to see Provost Paul Saltman to chat with him about the lack of marine biology classes for undergraduates. He picked up the phone and called Dick Rosenblatt, an ichthyologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and said “Dick, I have a kid here who wants to feel a fish.” That call led to a meeting at which Rosenblatt suggested I transfer to UCSB, where they had an Aquatic Biology major, and then come back to SIO/UCSD for graduate school. Saltman did not object to the idea and I received my undergraduate degree in Santa Barbara followed by my SIO Marine Biology PhD in 1983. I will always be grateful to both of them for the advice, which set in motion a rewarding and interesting career in scientific research.
—Dan Cohn

Thank you for printing “Recalling Paul Saltman”—it brought back wonderful memories from my time at UCSD. I attended Revelle 1970-74, and was privileged to have taken Professor Saltman’s Biology class. He was effective, engaging and funny. It cemented my interest in biology that would ultimately lead me into medicine. I also was an avid surfer, and remember seeing Prof. Saltman out in the lineup at Scripp’s Pier and Black’s.

As others have noted, this was towards the end of the Vietnam War and there were active protests around campus and in the nearby community. I was part of them, and along with the publishing of the Pentagon Papers, it was a real eye opener for me. I remember hearing Angela Davis (who was visiting Professor Marcuse) speak to students on Revelle Plaza. Other memories include getting hyper-caffinated at the Coffee Hut (which served amazing and cheap fried rice), before studying for exams. Most of my exams were on Friday afternoon, and every few weeks I would head down to Tijuana (which was much smaller then) with friends to hit the Long Bar and go out dancing. At the time there were fantastic concerts on campus put on by UCSD student leaders, including groups like Hot Tuna and Dan Hicks.

On a more professional note, in my 3rd year at UCSD I took an elective class in endocrinology that pointed me towards studying medicine. Shortly afterwards I volunteered at the VA Hospital in Dr. Paul Grundy’s lab studying cholesterol metabolism. This opened my eyes to my medical career. I went on to attend medical school, graduating to become a family physician. I practiced for 38 years and recently retired from the University of WA medical system where I had been medical director of their primary care clinics for 17 years. It all started with Professor Saltman… thank you, UCSD!
—Peter McGough, MD ’74

I have a couple of memories to share, the first a bit more personal. A couple of us decided that we would like to have a course in clinical psychology offered at UCSD. I can remember meeting with Dr. Saltman and while he did have a very strong and intimidating presence, he did listen to us and while he did not necessarily agree with our perspective, he ultimately decided to support the course.

The other memory was going to see the documentary of Dr. Saltman taking LSD. We certainly saw a different side of Dr. Saltman in that documentary. I respected his transparency and his openness to share this experience with all of us. It was quite illuminating.
—Brad Steinfeld ‘76

I just finished reading the alumni letters regarding Paul Saltman, in the Winter edition, and was inspired to share my memories of Dr. Saltman. After a new found appreciation for biology early in my third year prompted me to change majors from QEDS (economics) to physiology, I was made aware by friends that taking Dr. Saltman’s nutrition class was a must. I’m so glad I followed their advice, as his class broke the mold of what I had learned to expect from academics. His teaching style, which I recall being heavy on story telling, made learning— shockingly—fun! His open hours (hopefully I’m remembering that term correctly) were the first I attended regularly; I went not because I had questions on the course material, but rather because it was it was entrancing to hear him talk, and he made it such a welcoming atmosphere. As a basketball fan, I was riveted by his stories of giving nutrition advice to Bill Walton.
—Mike Flaningam ‘92

I graduated from Revelle College in 1975.  My main memory of Paul Saltman was his telling our entering freshman class during orientation during the summer of 1971 that Revelle’s goal was to turn us into “neo-Renaissance men and women.”  And with the breadth requirements and non-contiguous minors, they did a pretty good job, at least on me.  As a biochemistry major whose history courses helped keep me sane, and who ended up a lawyer who still likes to read about science, math and history, I appreciate the Saltman philosophy.
—Nancy Miller ‘75

I remember three things about Paul Saltman as an undergrad in the early 70’s. One was a movie I saw of Paul taking LSD in a controlled experiment early in his career. I was shocked! The second was that I was pissed that I only got a B.A. and not a B.S. in applied physics and information sciences. All because Paul felt we needed to be renaissance men and women, steeped in Lysistrata and Rabelais. Why couldn’t I get a B.S. degree in computer science or mechanical engineering? Instead, it would have been a B.A. in applied mechanics and engineering sciences. In hindsight, my life and career turned out fine.  The last thing was a recent article about Angela Davis that reminded me of Paul’s face-off’s that must have transpired with Angela, Herbert Marcuse, and donors and alumni on the right.
—David Moss ’73

In my second year at Revelle, I had a part time job at the gas station at North Torrey Pines and La Jolla Shores Drive. One slow evening Dr. Saltman came in to fill his tank. I told my co-worker, PJ, a student at Mesa College, “Hey, that’s my bio professor!” While I filled his car and washed his windows (still did that in ‘72), PJ ran out with his homework and Dr. Saltman helped him with it. It was math, not science. Still at it long after I ran his credit card. Completely cool guy.
—Tim McFadden ‘77

Dr. Paul Saltman was the 1st person I met at UCSD. I was in awe of how kind, intelligent, and personable he was to someone he had just met. I was a high school senior and interested in playing college water polo. He took the time to meet with me, share his insight, and even arranged for me to meet a current UCSD water polo player to share his experience balancing athletics and academics.

I knew at that meeting UCSD was the perfect fit for me. I started my college academic career in fall 1990 and played water polo for the men’s intercollegiate team under the coaching direction of the legendary Denny Harper. So many fantastic memories of grueling workouts and exciting games at Canyon View pool.

Although my major was economics, I took one of Dr. Saltman’s biology courses, just to experience his teaching 1st hand. I don’t know if I’ve ever been in the presence of someone more passionate about a subject. Although, the poetry course I took taught by Quincy Troupe will forever be a highlight of my academic career.  I’ll never forget Dr. Saltman’s words from his lecture following a fascinating explanation of a biological process, “If you can’t appreciate that, (long pause) you’re just insensitive man (big smile).”

Thank you so much for your guidance, the opportunity to know you, and the amazing impact you had, Dr. Saltman. It’s sincerely an honor. O Captain, my Captain.
—Chris Donnager ‘95

Dr. Saltman got me interested in nutrition and I do believe changed the trajectory of my profession. I took his Nutrition course and absolutely loved it. So much so that I became a TA for the class–the only class I ever TA’d for.

I always remember him saying, “a calorie is a calorie is a calorie,” no matter what kind of food it comes from. Something I believe would be disputed today. And he called pizza one of the most nutritious foods–having protein, vegetables and fats—what a relief as a college kid.  And of course making a scene of your entrance if you showed up late to class—an effective tool to have that not be a repeat occurrence.

I know he made an impact on me because my parents even remember him, meaning I must have talked about him and I don’t remember telling them much of anything. I credit him for shifting my desire to do something in the veterinary world to wanting to study nutrition and how what we put in our bodies affects the physiology. After becoming a physical therapist, I continued to seek those answers.
—Tianna Meriage-Reiter ‘98


Thanks for more tunnel stories! A group of intrepid UCSD adventurers who will remain nameless introduced me to the tunnels in the mid-80s. They would sneak into the medical school basement and creep-out looking at the corpses. This inspired me to sign up for the UCSD body donation program in the off chance I might be able to leave a legacy for future UCSD students. But, the creepiest thing I saw in the tunnels was in an older dead-end section with a smooth cement floor near the med school—an unmistakeable trail of human footprints in the otherwise undisturbed dust—bare human feet… walking through the tunnels. The memory makes my skin crawl to this day.
—Arnie Schoenberg ‘89

I saw your story in Triton magazine about the tunnels.  You asked to share tunnel stories, so here’s one. I was a Revelle student from 1976-1981.  Revelle’s philosophy, at least back then, was to teach us to be renaissance men, or women.  I always assumed that meant that we were supposed to be curious about everything and ready to learn or explore everything.

Our small band of merry explorers discovered an open door behind the Revelle cafeteria.  “I wonder where that goes” seemed to start quite a few of our adventures back then.  So, like good explorers, we walked down and under the cafeteria.  At the time we really had no idea that there were tunnels under UCSD.  It made perfect sense that the tunnels were there and that they shouldn’t really be any more dangerous than we made them.  Of course, wandering completely new territory, a little bit tense and scared (not to mention young and ignorant), we had quite an adventure.  We went into the tunnels many times, always trying to go somewhere new and to pop out somewhere new.  Looking back on our adventures, I am actually proud of the fact that we were so well behaved in there.  Every once in a while we would encounter a worker, but no one ever seemed to be that worried about us being there.  As strange as it may seem, I found the adventures to be a very educational experience.

My son later (2015) went to UCSD.  I was very sorry to hear that the new school policy was to expel students caught in the tunnels.  I kind of wish he could have had the same adventure.
—Wayne Cottle ‘81

Ah yes, the steam tunnels! So much fun! I attended Muir College, UCSD from 1967 to 1971. I spent my first 2 years in the dorms on Matthews Campus.  We were to be the first 4 year graduates for Muir, which meant we had very few upper classmen to balance out all the crazy things a bunch of 18 year olds away from parental supervision for the first time came up with. Sometime during that first year in the dorms, someone discovered that one of the “Authorized Personnel Only” doors behind at the back of Revelle no longer locked properly and could be jiggled open. Inside were underground tunnels following big steam pipes, and branching off, beckoning one to explore. Word spread quickly, especially after someone discovered the connector over to the medical building, then under construction. My friends and I spent many evenings adventuring through the tunnels, but the medical building itself soon became the main draw. The earth movers parked outside could be started and driven around. How none were ever destroyed is still a puzzle! Just as fun was the discovery that you could climb up the unfinished elevator shaft to access the rest of the floors. Near the top was the crematorium, with a sign on the oven door identifying it and how to use it. By this point in the school year many of us had discovered marijuana, and there was great fun in getting stoned and then wandering the tunnels. Once we came around a corner to see 2 glowing blobs moving slowly towards us at ground level. It was quite freaky until we got close enough to see a person wearing shoes covered with phosphorescent paint.  Unfortunately, the fun couldn’t last forever. People begin vandalizing. The crematorium sign was stolen. A second route down into the tunnels through a manhole had been discovered, but apparently nobody noticed that it was in view of the campus police station. One night the manhole cover got dropped into the tunnels. After that security was tighter and locks were replaced. Back then the campus police were rather laid back, and often ignored our escapades, but apparently enough was enough. With regret, we had to move our nocturnal adventures back out to the cross country course, which was almost as fun. I loved my time in the dorms at UCSD, and the tunnels are still one of my favorite memories.
—Laurie (Brock) Todd ‘71

I really enjoyed the article “Notes From Underground” and the photo essay by Josh and Amber online. In 1985, when someone I knew brought me to the tunnels we didn’t usually have cameras so all I remember of the tunnel (I think it was around the math building near Muir) is a colorful mural of Flight 182 that crashed in North Park in 1978. I had never heard about the tragedy before but the story and emotion was covered in this mural. I am sure that mural is long gone by now.
—Cinta Burgos ‘90

I never ventured very far into the tunnels, but there were fairly simple short-cuts to be had in the Revelle area, and we routinely used those. There was poetic and philosophical graffiti, but the  thing I liked best was the charming green dragon that someone had painted in one of the tunnels. This dragon spoke German (which I didn’t since my Revelle language requirement was met via French), but it seemed to be saying something about love. Personally, I’d love to hear more about that dragon if anyone knows more. (1978-1982).

My dorm room (in one of the “mud huts,” now renamed “the ships of the line”) also had a very cool mural painted on the wall. It had a rather technicolor landscape scene—with a pipe-smoking elf sitting under a tree. It had been protected for a long time (there was a date, I think from ’69) and continued to be for awhile, but I fear it has now been painted over.

I wish I had taken photos of both of these, but that was a much bigger deal in those days, and I was a poor student who couldn’t afford much film and development.
—Heather Campbell ‘82

A poorly kept secret during my time at UCSD (1968-1972) was that in the basement of Urey Hall there was a ‘locked’ facilities access door that could easily be bypassed.  You could loosen the nut on the padlocked U-bracket and simply swing it and the door open.  From there, all the tunnels were accessible. Touring the tunnels was a favorite night/weekend pastime.  Wandering in the power plant at night was fascinating, but the Central University Library (now Geisel Library) was magical in 1969-1970.  Until the building was nearly finished and they started stocking the Library, we could gain access to the building through the tunnels (transiting underground all the way from Urey Hall to CUL) and explore throughout the building.  With no windows in place, the 360-degree views were amazing, especially near the edges of the upper floors. We always tried not to disturb anything during our explorations, so the administration wouldn’t be motivated to increase security measures in the tunnels.
—Kim Crosser ‘72

Like many others, I had heard the myth of the underground tunnels.  I lived on campus for two years in the Third College (now Marshall) apartments. I think it was late spring of 1984  (maybe 1985?), several of us were roaming the campus late at night and came upon a manhole cover near Central (now Geisel) Library.  We opened it  (maybe with a tire iron?) and climbed down into the tunnels.   We wandered around without any plan or idea of where we were, but we’re just enjoying the exploration of forbidden space.  We must have triggered an alarm, because about 20 minutes in we heard security behind us.  We all ran in opposite directions.  I came out near the medical campus and I recall another person came out near the Muir Hump.  Only one in our party (not offering his name) was caught and had to report to the Third College administration. His punishment was a several hour stint setting up chairs for the Third College graduation several weeks later.
—Teri Fenner ‘86

Good Grief! Freshman orientation week and the world was OURS!  Our parents dropped us off, waved goodbye with such hope in their hearts; the speeches encouraged us to explore and strike new paths—so we did!! Among them the ventilation ducts in Challenger Hall.  Why????  Who the heck knows!?!  Because the world was OURS!

A line of us started in.  The diameter of the ducts—now mind you this is with the distortion of 55 years of terrified memory—started out at maybe 24” and narrowed the further we creeped along.  Not a lot of oxygen in there with a half dozen squirming giggling silly people caterpillaring along—the best and the brightest of California’s Boomer high school classes of 1966.  Eventually the guy up front could go no further. The tail end didn’t know this or didn’t care and wouldn’t back up.  A midstream squirmer, I was stuck, running out of air, and being compressed from both directions. How did we get out?  Who remembers!

This initiating folly has had a lasting effect on me.  As a geologist, when entering a mine ever since, immediately everything stiffens and I have to constantly talk myself out of panicking, always planning my escape route.

Thanks a lot, silly compadres!  We were off to a great start on our UCSD opportunities— little did we understand those were among the best in the world!
—Marie Eisen Davis ‘71

One night in the fall of 1980, two of us decided to see what was under this particular manhole cover between Muir College and Central Library (its name at the time). We cracked open the lid enough to squeeze through to then re-close the lid behind us. We dropped down a short ladder with flashlights on and made our way straight to Central Library, then back on our tracks to Muir College. We were in there for a little over an hour. We came back to the same entrance, pushed the lid open and got out of the tunnel.

Intrigued, early the next day we went back for a thorough survey of the underside of UCSD. We went down every tunnel we could find, behind every gate/door/grate that we could, some of which are shown in your scrap book of photos online. There were many cool things to see and buildings to pop up into, all over the campus. We ended the visit at the ladder that goes up to the manhole cover on the grassy knoll, the hump, between the gym and the front of what is now the old student center. We climbed up the ladder, cracked the lid to a sunny morning outside and squeezed out.

UCSD was obviously on to students exploring the tunnels as this particular tunnel lid had a chain on it that only allowed it to be slid opened about half way. Squeezing out of that slot I was unaware that the squeeze squirted the wallet out of my pants that contained my ID and my meal card for the UCSD cafeterias. A couple of hours later I went to lunch at the Muir Cafeteria, reached for my wallet with my meal card—nothing there. With some quick thinking I had to recall where my wallet may be and thought that maybe the tight squeeze out of the hump cover made me lose my wallet. In a state of panic thinking that some UCSD authority would find my wallet in the tunnel as proof I had been in there, I walked back to the hump, now at noon time, slid the lid open and took the ladder down to my wallet, sitting on the floor, then I came back up and closed the lid. This was all in broad daylight with tons of people walking by, then in a very relieved state that I had not been found out, I just continued on my way to lunch.

I write this, because this became an entrance point in my life to a career spent caving around North America. I have been in and explored 100’s of caves in 10 different states and 3 different countries. Some of the most amazing things I have ever seen on the planet have been underground—and it all started with the tunnels under UCSD. I wonder if the UCSD tunnels have opened up the magic of the underworld to anyone else?

Here is a radio story about one of the caves I know:

—John Spear ‘84


I attended UCSD from 1982-1988. I am still very close to my Warren Drake girls. My two nieces and a nephew ended up there and loved it—one niece just had her own little Triton. My other niece is at med school and is dating a fellow Triton. And my nephew is recently engaged to his fellow Triton. And my daughter is finishing up her last season on the women’s basketball team. UCSD is a very big part of my life.
—Elizabeth Cangelosi ‘88

Just thinking about that blurb at the top. I met my now husband at freshman orientation for UCSD, spent a year being friends before we started dating, and as of this summer we’ll have been married for 2 years and partners for 10. :)
—Lily Poore

My husband and I met in the transfer dorm in the fall of 1991 in Atlantis Hall. We married in 1998 and have 3 children. Our middle son is now at Revelle as a freshman living at Discovery Hall. Our fondest memories were at UCSD.
—Catherine and Mark Macias ‘95

My wife began at UCSD the year after I graduated.  We have a tiny Revelle vs Warren rivalry. Our eldest daughter aspires to attend UCSD.

My two sisters and I are all graduates of UC San Diego.  We certainly bonded over the experience. I am a first-generation college graduate and my younger sisters, who are 12 years and 20 years younger than me, followed in my footsteps.  My youngest sister and I both work for UCSD! 😊
—Amber Bareno ’99

Milo and The Descendents

I saw the Descendants in 1988 in New York City. I’m pretty sure it was Irving Plaza but it could have been the Ritz. It was amazing. About two weeks later I was a nervous college freshman in Washington, DC and an older student in the elevator told me she recognized me from the show. I’ve never felt so cool. And Milo, I still choose not to have that suburban home…!
—Carl LeVan ‘06

Another excellent edition! I especially loved the piece on Milo, and I have to ask, can I get my hands on the Descendants t-shirt with Milo as Sun God?
—Ian Wright

Reading the Great Mileage story of January, 14, 2022, took me back to my days at UCSD (Muir 1986 to 1992). During my years at UCSD, I spent most of my free time at the radio station KSDT.  While I did spend some time on-air, I was most comfortable behind the scenes.  I held various positions including Production Manager, Station Engineer and General Manager.

Around 1990 as Station Engineer, I got our Studio D (the largest room at the station) outfitted with wiring to Studio C (our production studio) so that we could have bands perform live on the air.  A few bands would use Studio D for practicing.

One of the DJs who went by the name El Ghazali (I don’t know his real name to this day), started having bands come in and play on his show almost weekly.  I usually did the sound engineering and we usually recorded the show.  One of those bands was Milestone (one of Milo Aukerman’s bands).  So, yes, I saw Milo play at UCSD in the 90s.

After a while we had a collection of these recordings and though they were pretty rough I decided to put together a compilation cassette tape.  I didn’t have the budget to press vinyl or a CD.  Back then there wasn’t a very good way to get your band out there unless you had a demo tape.  So I put together this tape and had 250 copies made and we sold them around San Diego for $4 or $5.  The goal wasn’t to make any money, it was to cover expenses and get the bands some exposure.

Here it is in, all it’s rawness:
—Steve Branin

Halls of Fame

What a great Winter 2022 issue of Triton. I was a student at Revelle and the new medical school back in the late ’60s. The articles brought back memories from those times. The Paul Saltman story reminded me of his biochemistry class I took in 1968 before entering medical school in 1969. He was a master.

Back then the medical school was on the Mathews campus.The campus got its name from Camp Mathews, founded in 1918 by the Marine Corps, on the same site, to provide marksmanship training for recruits. Originally named “Rifle Range, Marine Corps Base, San Diego,” the name was later changed to Camp Mathews to honor General Calvin Mathews, a distinguished Marine marksman from the 1930’s.

From 1918 to 1964 over 1,000,000 recruits received their rifle training at Camp Mathews. A sad rumor has it that Oswald learned how to shoot there during his years as a Marine.

The city of La Jolla grew after the War and the townspeople were nervous about having the Marines so close firing their weapons. So, after some bickering, Camp Mathews was signed over to the University of California in 1964 to be used for the new San Diego campus. The Marines moved their rifle training facilities to Camp Pendleton.

I remember starting medical school at UCSD in 1969. Looking, I think, Southeast, from the entrance to the Basic Science building, I could see the remnants of the bullet traps downrange from the firing line. Back then students walked on streets named for Generals Vandegrift and Rupertus, both heroes of Guadalcanal. The USCD library even had a display back then titled ‘From Riflemen to Freshmen’ to tell the story of the Mathews campus.

Even today there are reminders of Camp Mathews on the UCSD campus. As you mentioned in the article in the Winter edition, streets on campus are named after General Rupertus, General Russell, Colonel Myers, and General Mathews. I couldn’t find a street on the map named after General Vandegrift so maybe he didn’t make the cut! A  number of the original buildings used at Camp Mathews are still standing today on campus. A sentry box guards an entrance to a student parking lot. You can still read the graffiti placed inside by Marine guards over half a century ago. The original Camp Mathews flagpole still stands on a grass island in the middle of Myers Drive along with a monument to Camp Mathews.

Another original Camp Mathews building was reborn as the Che Cafe. A 50 year anniversary celebration was held on campus in 2014 to commemorate the transfer of Camp Mathews from the Marines to UCSD. Marine Corps veterans, who trained at Camp Mathews,  were present at the celebration.

I have not been back to UCSD in years. My fondest memories are of Harold Simon, MD, and Arnost Fronek, MD, both of whom changed my life.

I hope the above represents current facts. If not, they are great stories! Thanks for your work on the Triton.
—Joe Gerry MD ‘73