MERCED, CA — State Senator Jim Costa and University of California alumni Hubert Hub Walsh and Susan Walsh will be honored for their contributions to education and progress in the San Joaquin Valley during the fourth annual San Joaquin Valley UC Alumni Network Fall Banquet. The event is scheduled for the evening of Friday, November 30 at Aviation Challenge in Atwater.
UC Merced Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey will offer the keynote address for the event, which begins at 6 p.m. with a no-host social followed by dinner and the evenings program. Also featured will be UC Merced Dean of Engineering Jeff Wright, who will discuss the future of engineering and his vision for engineering at the new campus. Rounding out the evening, UC Alumni Network President Brian McCabe will present the organizations awards for Legislator of the Year and UC Alumni of the Year.
Our alumni organization believes it is important to acknowledge the efforts of elected officials and UC alumni who have distinguished themselves through their support of University of California and other educational programs serving the San Joaquin Valley, said McCabe, a founding member of the Alumni Network. This year, the Alumni Networks more than 700 members are honored to recognize these three deserving individuals who have contributed so much to our region.
Recently elected as Merceds mayor after serving six years on the Merced City Council, Hub Walsh is the director of Madera County Social Services. He is a founding member of the San Joaquin Valley UC Alumni Network and received his bachelors degree in psychology and sociology from UC Berkeley, a masters degree in social science from Pacific Lutheran University in Washington and a masters degree in business administration from California State University, Stanislaus. Long active as a volunteer in the community, he has chaired Merceds Recreation and Parks Commission and the Affordable Housing Task Force, served as president of the United Way Board of Directors, worked to improve services and programs for seniors and young people, coached youth sports and been involved with many other community organizations and commissions.
Susan Walsh, also a founding member of the UC Alumni Network, is the director of the Learning Resources Center, director of the Title V, Activity II (grant) and adjunct faculty member at Merced College. She received her associate of arts degree from Merced College, a bachelors degree in English from UC Davis, a masters of library science from San Jose State University and a doctoral degree in educational leadership from UC Davis-CSU Fresno. In addition to her leadership in the continued development of Merced College, she is active in such professional organizations as the National Council for Learning Resources, Phi Delta Kappa and the Council of Chief Librarians and such community organizations as the American Association of University Women, the League of Women Voters and Soroptimists International.
Representing Californias 16th Senate District since 1994, Senator Jim Costa has been a strong advocate on many issues of concern for San Joaquin Valley residents. A strong supporter for a University of California campus in the Valley, Costa also spearheaded the effort to build a state-of-the-art Medical Education and Research Center in downtown Fresno. The $26 million facility for the UC San Francisco, Fresno Medical Education Program will improve local access to quality health care. Costa is immediate past president of the National Conference of State Legislatures whose recent awards include the 2001 Ken Maddy Central Valley Leadership Award, the 1999 Legislative Leadership Award from the Association of California Water Agencies and the 1999 Distinguished Senator Award from the Regional Council of Rural Counties.
UC Merced, the 10 thcampus of the University of California system, will be the first major research university built in the United States in the 21st century. Currently employing approximately 85 educators and professionals, UC Merced has a special mission to serve the educational needs of the San Joaquin Valley. The Universitys main campus in Merced is scheduled to open in 2004 to serve 1,000 students. Over the coming decades, the campus is expected to grow to a student population of 25,000. UC Merced contributes to educational access through the entire San Joaquin region via special educational and outreach centers in Fresno and Bakersfield, and the Tri-College Center in Merced.
Membership in the San Joaquin Valley UC Alumni Network is open to alumni with at least 12 units of credit from any of the nine University of California campuses. In addition to hosting educational and social events, the Alumni Network provides an opportunity for alumni to associate with each other and the University, educates alumni regarding the Universitys latest achievements and progress, involves alumni in the ongoing development of current and future students of the University and promotes the welfare and development of the University and of the UC Merced campus. Membership is free of charge.
The San Joaquin Valley UC Alumni Networks 4th Annual Banquet begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, November 30 at Aviation Challenge, 3600 B Street, Atwater. The cost is $25 per person. For reservations, please call (510) 987-9145, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org  or visit www.ucalumni.net . For additional information, please contact Cindy Kuhns at (209) 724-4401.