Honoring the fallen

Photo of programs from memorial service.

Today's events honoring slain Santa Cruz Police officers Elizabeth Butler and Loran "Butch" Baker were a powerful tribute from a grateful community. I was honored to attend the memorial in San Jose--to recognize the Santa Cruz Police Department's losses and to support our campus officers.

Detective Elizabeth Butler was a UCSC alumna. A Community Studies major who graduated from Kresge College in 1996, she saw police work as a form of social work.

Like a lot of people, perhaps, I was surprised to learn of Elizabeth's career path. I'm more likely to think of Community Studies graduates working in the nonprofit sector or health and human services. Her sacrifice reminds me just how aligned community policing is with UCSC's values of service, contribution, and social justice.

I had another reminder this week of the varied career paths of our graduates. During a meeting with alumni and campus friends in Washington, D.C., I heard from a former student who works for the Army. Lt. Col. Mike Linick (Merrill '83) graduated in politics and told me he attributes his ability to do his work in the Pentagon to the education he received at UC Santa Cruz. He said he gained intercultural understanding and learned to look at issues from multiple perspectives.

On this sad day, I am heartened by these reminders of the good work our alumni are doing all around the world, in our own neighborhoods and on the global stage. Rest in peace, Detective Butler and Sergeant Baker.

Comments or questions? Write to chancellor@ucsc.edu and put “Butler-Memorial" in the subject line.