Panels and events highlighting UC San Diego’s first graduates were held throughout the 2019 Homecoming Weekend from Oct. 18 through the 20th. Various events were put on around campus to celebrate the alumni who had graduated in the years upto and including 1970.
One of the first events was the Golden Triton Induction and Celebration on Saturday, Oct. 19, on the eighth floor of Geisel Library, where some of UCSD’s oldest alumni were inducted into the Golden Triton Society. Every alumnus at the event was honored with a medal.
Many of the alumni were from Roger Revelle College and experienced the time when John Muir College as well as Geisel Library were first built. Some alumni remembered the founding of the Coffee Hut, now known as the C.H.E. Cafe.
“It was my class, class of ‘68, that had the first Watermelon Drop after a freshman year physics test,” one alumnus said, referring to the Revelle tradition that takes place on the last Friday of Spring Quarter annually.
Following this event was the Golden Triton Coffee Chats, where some alumni and current students were invited to be on a panel aptly titled: “Alumni and Students: Then and Now.”
The moderator was Tom Shepard, who was the Associated Students President from 1968 to 1969, as well as the former alumni president and co-chair of the class of 1970 reunion. The panel consisted of Steve Landau and Lisbeth Johnson from the class of ‘70, Dean of Student Activities in the 1960’s Bob Topolovac, current UCSD Guardian Editor-in-Chief Daisy Scott, A.S. Vice President of Campus Affairs Melina Reynoso, and the Black Resource Center’s Transfer Student Success LeaderMaliq de Piña.
Landau briefly characterized his time at UCSD as one filled with protests. On a lighter note, he also described how the choice of recreational activity changed from alcohol to smoking pot during his years at UCSD.
Johnson recounted during the panel how being a person of color was difficult at the time.
“There were seven of us who hung together, blacks and browns, because we did not feel welcomed,” she said.
Johnson also compared the protests and riots of her time to the mass shootings and political atmosphere the current generation of students are experiencing now.
de Piña spoke of his experiences as a transfer student from New Orleans, Louisiana, and how he realized over the course of his first year at UCSD, “a lot of the negativity, a lot of the differences, a lot of the barriers that exist between us mostly just exist in our heads.”
Reynoso similarly explained how she learned a lot from her campaign to become A.S. VP as she interacted with many students on Library Walk who were from different walks of life and different communities on and around campus.
Several other panels on the topics of research and campus growth and changes were held throughout the weekend as well. A Triton Times Reunion was held in Price Center where alumni who were on the staff of the earliest issues of the Triton Times met with the current staff of the UCSD Guardian, the successor of the original newspaper.
UCSD’s Homecoming Weekend is an annual event held every Fall Quarter to celebrate both the university as a whole and its alumni.
Photos by McKenna Johnson.