Jenny Doh, '91 spent her early years in Seoul, Korea. But she was born at UC Irvine.
"I see the university as something I cannot and will not ever abandon," said Doh. "It is my family, it is where I was really born."
She came to campus in 1986 as a new freshman straight from Bakersfield, Calif., where her family had settled after immigrating some 10 years earlier and by her own account, simply fell in love with the campus. "I loved everything about it, even the design. It's a circle, you could never get lost."
From those first few days on campus, Doh has managed to never lose her way and has, as a matter of fact, come full circle. In July she took over as the president of the UCI Alumni Association, leading the university's largest volunteer organization. More than 107,000-strong, the alumni family is one to which Doh is unquestionably committed.
"As an alumna, I have a sense of obligation to make sure that I continue to support the institution that helped shaped me. It is with extreme pride that I can attach my name to UCI, to be associated with such a strong university."
While a student, Doh earned the unrepeated honor of being selected UC Irvine's first student regent, representing the student body within the University of California Board of Regents and the UC Office of the President. It was during that time that she was taken under the wing of some of her most influential mentors, including alumna Martha Newkirk.
Newkirk, along with Chancellor Emeritus Jack Peltason and his wife Susie, remain an integral part of Doh's life today.
"They continue to offer me a great level of support. It is because of each of them that I understand my responsibility to the university," Doh said. "As president of the alumni association, I am responsible to my fellow alumni in ensuring that our voice continues to be heard. As personnel at the university change, it is the alumni voice that remains constant."
And to ensure that the alumni voice remains strong and relevant, Doh plans to use her time as president to further strengthen the relationship between the association and the campus's other volunteer organizations: Chief Executive Roundtable, the Foundation and the Chancellor's Club.
"To date, the alumni association may not have had as strong of a presence in campus affairs as it could," Doh explained. "It is time more now than ever before for these organizations to interact and collaborate so that we are able to support the university's priorities."
Sustaining the alumni voice isn't just a one-woman activity. Doh believes that each alumnus can - and should - take part. And, one way do to so is to recognize that the association is the lifeline between university and alumni. "It's imperative that alumni continue to support the association," Doh said. "The first step in doing that is to purchase a membership to help preserve our fiscal health. Those dues help ensure that the association remains strong and autonomous.
"And the university will become a better place through alumni involvement."
— Michelle Williams, UCI Alumni Association