Provost retires after 20 years

    Having served as Revelle College provost for 20 years, F. Thomas Bond is retiring after setting the record for the longest-held position as provost in the history of the Revelle campus. A reception in his honor will be held at the Revelle lawn shortly after the 38th annual Watermelon Drop on June 6.

    Prior to Bond, the longest time period in which a provost served at Revelle College was five years. Throughout UCSD colleges, Bond is rivaled only by John Stewart, who served as John Muir College provost for 22 years.

    Chancellor Robert C. Dynes as well as 400 guests, including members of UCSD faculty and Revelle Student Council, will be attending the reception.

    In addition to acting as provost for Revelle College, Bond has been a part of UCSD for 37 years, serving as an organic chemistry professor and a member of the medical school’s admissions committee. During his time as provost, Bond worked with six successive vice chancellors. This past spring quarter, Bond taught a freshman biology seminar named “”There’s Chemicals in My Food.””

    Revelle College senior and Revelle College Council Chair Alex Shafgans noted Bond’s influential presence in Revelle.

    “”I like to consider Dr. Bond as the grandfather of Revelle,”” Shafgans said. “”He is the kind of guy who is very warm-hearted and is incredibly generous in that he never hesitates to offer his assistance or counsel to students.””

    In a statement, Bond explained that being a provost is inevitably linked to teaching.

    “”I don’t think you can be a provost without teaching,”” he stated. “”I just felt you had to be in the trenches, talking to students one-on-one.””

    Shafgans will be speaking briefly at the reception for Bond.

    “”He is an incredibly approachable person,”” Shafgans said. “”One of the greatest things is that he is an advocate of students.””

    One of the things Bond advocated was the Revelle Humanities program, a Revelle College general education requirement that consists of history and literature of the ancient as well as the modern Western world. Bond said that, since the program’s birth in the late 1970s, he received much input from Revelle students upon their completion of the five-quarter requirement.

    According to Bond, students did not enjoy taking six quarters of a general education course, and alterations were continually made to accommodate the needs of students.

    Even so, Bond recalled moments when he spoke to former Revelle students who were glad that such a general educational requirement was offered.

    Shafgans echoed the sentiment.

    “”He made a big push to save the humanities program, and I personally think that it is a defining program in Revelle,”” Shafgans said. “”You really do appreciate all the things you’ve learned.””

    Bond said that upon first arriving at UCSD in 1967, he was accustomed to moving frequently, not having spent more than four or five years in one place.

    “”I moved around a lot and I had sort of accepted that as the norm,”” Bond said. “”But when I worked here for a while, I found I really enjoyed UCSD. Besides having a wonderful office, I’ve worked with a lot of good faculty, staff and students, and I just love the people that I work with. Of course, there are a few students who cause you grief and pain, but you can’t expect to have 20,000 students without having a few who feel that they are entitled to private rooms, reserved parking and ‘A’ grades in every course.””

    Bond said he has encountered a lot of positive changes on campus in the time he’s spent at UCSD. One improvement in services to students that Bond noted was the new city shuttle system. Bond pointed to the fact that La Jolla lacks the typical college atmosphere that UCLA’s Westwood or UC Berkeley’s campus offers. To him, offering the city shuttle was a big step in allowing students to explore off-campus opportunities.

    “”I think it’s been a big addition,”” Bond said. “”The parking services people should be praised for putting it on — just see how popular it is now.””

    According to Bond, the uniqueness of the UCSD campus is what most attracted him in maintaining his career here.

    “”Relative to other colleges, it has a relaxed atmosphere,”” Bond said. “”It’s a good campus for people who are a little more assertive and who want to jump at opportunities.””

    Bond’s extensive career at UCSD will be celebrated by many at the reception held in his honor.

    “”You never know how appreciated you are until you tell people you’re going to leave,”” Bond said. “”I’ve enjoyed my time at UCSD immensely.””

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