Making It Easy

Letter from the UCSD Alumni President


If you were to tell me in high school that I would be president of my alma mater’s alumni association one day, I would have said “no way.” I made good grades, sure, but I pretty much forgot to apply for college, and ended up at the Air Force Academy thanks to their rolling admissions. It wasn’t the place for me, however, and I was incredibly lucky that my mid-year transfer to UC San Diego was approved.

Once into my first quarter, I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it. Yet I found my purpose by volunteering with the high school outreach program through Third College (now Thurgood Marshall College), encouraging local students to apply to college and see UC San Diego in their future. I had been one of them, after all, and I knew that if I was telling them they could make it in college, I would have to make it myself.

The curriculum and culture of Third inspired me to make a lasting commitment to community involvement through service. I realized that you can’t go through life taking things—you have to give back. We can all get involved, even in a small way, and a lot of people working in small ways can add up to a big difference.

I recall how easy it was to be involved on campus as a student—every other day you could sign a petition or volunteer to support a cause. Today, it’s not so easy. We all perform a delicate balancing act with life, work and family obligations.

Yet as the new president of your alumni association, I pledge to bring the same spirit fostered by my Third College experience and make it easy for you, as alumni, to take part in giving back to the community. Stay tuned for the opportunities UCSD Alumni will soon be bringing to you. You’ll love being a part of the impact we’re making.

With Triton pride,
Robert Brownlie, Marshall ’85
President, UCSD Alumni Board of Directors