What Brings Us Together

Ever since I arrived back at UC San Diego, a ’94 alumna of Roosevelt College and now the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Alumni & Community Engagement, I’ve wondered: What is it that brings all 170,000 of us together as alumni? Is it this magazine’s namesake, our mythical mascot King Triton? Is it the landmark Sun God or one of the other Stuart Collection pieces we’ve watched spring up across campus? Is it the campus itself or the unique mission of our individual college? What about our sports teams, our majors? Our collective success as alumni? What is the glue that brings our hearts together and unites us with each other?

I’ve had the privilege to meet many of you in person in the last few months, and the memories I’ve heard are as varied as Tritons themselves: from those who remember when Central Library wasn’t so central to those who know it only as Geisel, there are those who still worship the Sun God and some who prefer a stone Bear, and those who know their college better by number than by name. Some of us came for the surf and others to study under illustrious faculty, some who still call it UCSD and others who know it as UC San Diego. From undergraduates who started out here, to transfer students, graduate and doctorate students, and our residents and fellows, we each have our own experience at UC San Diego. But as our leadership, our campus, our curriculum, our research and our diversity continue to evolve, what is it that holds us together?

What binds us, I believe, is not one tangible thing—not an icon, logo, college or discipline. It is our experiences, our memories, our inspiration and drive that all contribute to a unique and wonderful Triton spirit: the unprecedented desire to collaborate, an openness across studies and geographies, a curiosity that leads to transformational impact and innovation, the courage to push harder and a burning humanity that aims to make the world a better place. This spirit we share as UC San Diego alumni is the foundation that holds us—the Triton Family—together. And together, we can inspire and create some wonderful things.


With Triton pride,

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