Good Times, Bad Times

Letter from the Publisher


AS UC SAN DIEGO’S CHIEF ALUMNI OFFICER, it is my role to remind you of the impact the university made in your life and encourage you to stay connected with your alma mater. I consider this a privilege and a pleasure, as I often get to reminisce with fellow Tritons who will talk at length about the good times they had and how fondly they recall their college experience.

Except when they won’t. Because, sometimes, they don’t.

I had the chance to talk with Vivienne Ming, Muir ’00, just before Triton arranged the photo shoot below. As you’ll read in our story, “Know Thyself”, her first years on campus were some of the darkest in her life. She spoke of depression so severe she basically moved into a closet in her apartment. Fortunately her story turned around, and she would thrive on campus and in life. But it was clear that she remembered her time at UC San Diego with an ambivalence that is hard to hide.


She is not alone. College is not easy, and it can come at a very difficult time in one’s life. Yet many times when I meet alumni who say their experience wasn’t ideal, it’s those very same people who now get involved and connect with our current students—to make it easier for them, to give advice or guidance, professional mentoring or personal support. They want to help others have the experience they would have wanted for themselves.

Call it healing. Call it giving back. I like to think of it as being part of a community. And if a story like this speaks to you or your university experience, I’d like to invite you to be a part of this community with us.

This fall, Vivienne will return to campus to be our convocation speaker—launching our incoming class onto their UC San Diego education. Just think of what might have resulted had she, as a student, heard from someone like her current self. Consider what you would have wanted to hear back then as well. Because rest assured, there is a student who needs to hear the same thing from you.

With Triton pride,

Steph Barry, ERC ’94
Assistant Vice Chancellor & Chief Alumni Officer
UC San Diego Alumni & Community Engagement