Wrapping up a great year

To: The Campus Community

From: Chancellor George Blumenthal

As students take their finals and the campus gets ready for commencement, I want to thank the UC Santa Cruz community for another great year.

Recent events remind me that we are stronger when we join together.

First, we had a challenging conversation about the future of NCAA Division III athletics, but the outcome is positive. I appreciate student willingness to support the programs, as expressed in the recent opinion poll, and I recognize that students can't bear the entire financial burden. Faculty, alumni, and trustees also stepped forward to join this conversation. Together, we'll figure this out.

Second, I had the pleasure yesterday of presenting a lifetime achievement award for diversity and inclusion to Distinguished Professor of Psychology Faye Crosby. This award is presented annually to an individual who has made an extraordinary contribution to our diversity efforts. Through her scholarship on affirmative action, her mentoring of students, and her community-building as provost of Cowell College, Faye exemplifies the spirit of the award.

Third, as our graduates head out into the world, let's reflect on the quality of education they've received here. Our faculty value teaching, and they bring boundless creativity and care to the task. Computer Engineering Professor Tracy Larrabee, one of this year's recipients of an Excellence in Teaching Award, reminds her students that the material is inherently challenging, and failure is part of the learning process—not a sign of personal deficit.

Great teaching is only part of the equation, of course. Our goal as educators is to instill a lifelong desire to learn, and students ultimately determine whether we're successful.

That's why it's so gratifying to hear about the accomplishments of our alumni, like the computer engineering major who studied Latin and landed a competitive job in Silicon Valley because her employer said "someone who knows Latin can bring something extra." Or the recent graduate who is developing oral vaccines to improve the health of farmed fish--and reduce their environmental impact. Or the psychology graduates whose knowledge of human behavior is shaping the next generation of technology.

UC Santa Cruz is making wonderful contributions to the world.

To our graduates, congratulations and keep in touch. You're leaving the campus but joining a network of more than 100,000 alumni, many of whom are eager to help new graduates. Check out the Career Advice Network, follow UCSC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, email your professors and let them know what you're up to. Graduation isn't the end—it's the beginning of a new phase of your relationship with UC Santa Cruz.

Fiat Slugs!