Local Publisher to Head UCSB Alumni
George Thurlow, the long-time publisher of the Santa Barbara Independent, will be the new assistant vice chancellor for alumni affairs and executive director of the UCSB Alumni Association.
Assuming his new duties on June 1, the UCSB alumnus will succeed Peter Steiner, who retired last year after 15 years of service. Richard Jensen has been serving as the alumni organization’s interim executive director.
In announcing the appointment, Chancellor Henry T. Yang called Thurlow “an outstanding selection” and thanked his Search Advisory Committee for its unanimous recommendation. “George has been a tireless and dedicated volunteer and leader of our alumni for many, many years, and we appreciate his willingness to take on this new assignment as a member of our administration,” said Yang.
A 1973 graduate of UCSB who worked in the dining commons to pay his way, Thurlow has been part of the leadership of the campus’s alumni association for years. He is a past president of the UCSB Alumni Association and a former member of its Board of Directors. He is also a past board member of the UCSB Foundation.
Recently elected treasurer of the Alumni Associations of the University of California, he, as such, was to become an alumni representative on the UC Board of Regents. However, as a University employee he will not now be eligible to serve as a Regent.
Thurlow, a veteran journalist, acknowledged that leaving the Santa Barbara Independent after 12 years made this “one of the most difficult professional decisions I’ve ever had to make. Leaving a 30-year career in journalism is not done lightly.
“However, the opportunity to help build the Mosher Alumni House and to help operate what will be a jewel on the UC Santa Barbara campus was simply too good to pass up,” he explained. “The campus is taking off, and it is an exciting time to be part of it.”
Beyond its future possibilities, the campus also holds important memories for Thurlow. “I had a very meaningful experience at UCSB,” he recalled, citing friendships, influential teachers, and the chance to pay for his undergraduate education. But UCSB’s location also casts a strong spell: “The place is simply magical,” he said.
“As an alumnus it was always a dream to return to UC Santa Barbara,” he added. “And now I’m coming back to the best job on a campus that employs some of the brightest people in the world. What more could I ask for?”
John M. Wiemann, vice chancellor, institutional advancement, said Thurlow “has long… demonstrated great care and concern for how alumni continue to be connected to the university. (His) skills makes him an ideal choice for this position.”