5K raises $170,000 in scholarships

The annual Chancellor’s Challenge 5 km Run/Walk was held Friday at RIMAC Field, attracting almost 900 participants and generating over $170,000 in undergraduate scholarship funds.

Anna MacMurdo
Guardian

Students, faculty, staff, members of affiliated organizations and area residents attended. All had the intent of running the 3.1 mile course faster than Chancellor Robert C. Dynes, who personally donated $25 for every runner who finished before him. Dynes, who typically jogs five days a week, placed 155th while posting a time of 22 minutes, 9 seconds.

“”This event is designed for two reasons: to raise money for undergraduate scholarships and to have fun,”” Dynes said. “”Our school doesn’t have many traditions, but this is rapidly becoming one. Every year more and more positives come out of this.””

While the focus of the event is fundraising for undergraduate scholarships, another interesting facet of the contest is the wager between Dynes and A.S. President Jeff Dodge.

Since the event’s inception in 1996, Dynes has pledged to fund a student barbecue if the in-office A.S. president finishes before him. The A.S. President must wash the Chancellor’s car if he is defeated. Dodge is the first A.S. President to beat Dynes, barring allegations that he was not present at the starting line and cheated.

Tentatively, Dodge completed the course in 18:57 while wearing a number belonging to staffperson Linda Williams. Dodge denies the cheating accusations.

Pete Chenard of San Diego placed first in the race, running the 5 kilometer course in 15:43. The fastest female competitor was Denise Chenard, who finished in 19:17 and placed 36th overall.

Francis Helleman Dynes, wife of the chancellor, makes a similar wager to her husband’s, donating $25 for every female. An ankle injury kept her out of the race this year, but last year’s time was used as this year’s qualifying mark.

The bulk of the money raised by the event comes from flat donations by campus organizations, corporations and private donors.

“”The Chancellor’s Challenge is an excellent way of using our resources to help UCSD by providing deserving students the funding they need so that they can excel at our school,”” said UCSD Student Foundation trustee Murtazah Mogri, a junior at Warren college. This year, the UCSD Student Foundation donated $5,000 to the cause.

According to Brian L. Daly, Director of Developmental Student Affairs, Dynes matched outside contributions up to $40,000 using unrestricted university funds. Event co-chairpersons Charles Robins and Darcy Bingham also yielded matching funds of $10,000 and $5,000, respectively.

“”This is a fantastic showing by the entire community,”” Dodge said of Friday’s turnout.

Dodge praised Dynes for uniting the various components of the campus community in the name of a cause that awarded 96 students with financial aid last year alone.

The range of roles that race participants held on campus was widespread and visible.

“”Today is about camaraderie and support,”” said Willie Hunter, a retiree of the UCSD Medical Center staff, who has partaken in every Chancellor’s Challenge to date.

The UCSD Retirees contributed $3,000 to the event.

“”It’s important to inform the youth that adults are looking out for and supporting the future of our country,”” Hunter said.

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