UCSC celebrates its 45th anniversary with 45+5 Prominent and Influential Alumni

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In celebration of the 45th anniversary of the arrival of the first students at UC Santa Cruz, the campus is showcasing 45 highly accomplished graduates and five younger alumni of promise.

These alums will be featured at 45years.ucsc.edu and in special communications, and many will take part in campus and regional events throughout the school year.

UCSC opened its doors in September 1965. Alumni include famous writers such as Laurie King and Lawrence Weschler; prize-winning journalists Dana Priest, Joe Palca, and Richard Harris; trailblazing medical professionals Gary Heit and Cheryl Scott; and environmental crusaders Julie Packard and Brent Constantz.

"Across the spectrum, our alumni credit UCSC with giving them the tools to get where they are today," said UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal. "Their success is one of the strongest measures of our success."

UCSC offers students opportunities to work closely with faculty, to participate in research, and to develop independence of thought and action, said Blumenthal. "After graduation, they go into the world with the desire—and the ability—to make a real impact," he said.

UCSC alumni are thinkers and dreamers, scientists and artists, leaders and healers, researchers and influencers, MacArthur Fellows and Pulitzer Prize winners.

And they're Slugs: UCSC's innovative undergraduate program has been a major piece of many of these alums' stories.

The honorees were selected from among hundreds of highly accomplished and deserving individuals nominated by faculty, trustees, parents, alumni, and others.

The criteria used to select them included:

    * Uncommon excellence
    * Positive contribution to local communities, the nation, and our world
    * Creative, innovative, and collaborative problem solving
    * The promise of solving challenges facing the world today

The campus has prepared profiles of the 45 outstanding alumni and five young "up and coming" graduates that will be periodically rolled out in thematic groups at 45years.ucsc.edu.

The profiles will run through UCSC's Reunion Weekend, which takes place April 29–May 1, 2011. The last profiles will highlight the five recent graduates in anticipation of the campus's 50th anniversary.