Message from the UCMAA President - May '17

May 2017

Dear UCMAA Members,

Just a few weeks ago, it was my honor and privilege to welcome approximately 1,200 new Bobcats to our association at the 2017 Commencement Ceremonies. UCMAA is now nearly 8,000 Bobcats strong. At this time, and for the first time, there are now more UC Merced Alumni than current students! A special thank you to the alums who made the trip back to campus to join the celebration. 

With Commencement over, the UCMAA Board application has been open and will close on June 2nd. The Nominating Committee will review, interview, and deliberate in late June to select a new cohort of board members to join those who have another year to serve. Board members serve for two years providing leadership for our association. Please feel free to reach out to current board members or I to learn more about the board. Our association continues to grow and develop in unique ways. We need the very best Bobcats to lead us, so I personally invite you to apply.

June also means the California State Budget for the next fiscal year (July 2017-June 2018) becomes reality. This past March, we had a passionate delegation for UC Day in Sacramento to advocate for UC Merced. Thank you to all our Bobcat advocates who have assisted President Napolitano, Chancellor Leland, the UC Regents, other UC alumni advocates, and I in articulating the importance of UC through your personal stories. We all know the importance of higher education. If you are interested in advocating for UC and UC Merced please sign up at We thank you in advance for your advocacy.

Lastly, I want to thank our alumni donors. The fact that you choose to give speaks volumes about your devotion and passion for UC Merced. I am very proud to say that last year we ranked #3 in alumni giving participation in the UC System; and am confident that we can soon be #1. Also, nationally we were ranked #47 among public universities and #102 overall for alumni giving participation by US News & World Report. The size of your donation does not matter, as your participation counts most of all. Philanthropy is how we support student success, and I appreciate everyone’s contributions to UC Merced including those that give their time and talent back to their alma mater.   

Enjoy your summer. Stay cool and safe in all that you do. Look for upcoming exciting events in your area—maybe I will see you there!

Let the Journey Continue...

Keith Ellis ‘12
UC Merced Alumni Association President