UC Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal visited Seaside High School on Wednesday as part of Achieve UC, a series of events designed to inspire students to apply and attend college.
Blumenthal shared some personal history with about 200 students from all grades. He told them how he and his sister were the first to attend college, how college taught him about the world, and how he dreaded his English classes but ended up loving writing, according to Raul Ebio, interim director for early academic outreach at UC Santa Cruz.
Deciding whether to go to college "isn't really about jobs and money, but it is true that college graduates make a lot more money over the course of their lives than than students who stop after high school," Blumenthal said.
Chancellor Blumenthal also bragged about UC Santa Cruz's marine sciences, astronomy, and genome programs on campus. President Barack Obama awarded Professor Sandra Faber the National Medal of Science. Professor David Haussler was one of the first to crack the genomic code.
Blumenthal also made a deal with Seaside: if the school can pay for transportation to UCSC, the university will pay for dinner before attending the Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation, a favorite event on the City on a Hill.
Chancellor Blumenthal ended his intervention by urging students to go to college, regardless of which one they attend.
"Yes, I'm biased. I think UC Santa Cruz is a great school. But my message today is un-biased: Go to college, wherever you choose. What matters is that you go to college. If you choose a UC campus, we will help you in every way we can. So, work hard, keep your grades up, and realize your dreams!"
I hear the students were not the only ones impressed. The administrators were swooning. It's not every day that a university chancellor visits a high school, they said.
Pretty cool, huh?