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December 31, 1998


From: Chancellor Greenwood

Re: Death of Natasha Wakida

Dear Colleagues:

It is with great sadness that I report the death of College Eight student Natasha Wakida. Natasha died as a result of an automobile accident in Maryland on Christmas Day.

Like many of you, I had the pleasure of seeing Natasha perform this past fall as the person (and spirit) behind UCSC's new mascot, Sammy the Slug. She entertained people of all ages at UCSC sporting events and found the time to make appearances at a number of other campus events, including the recent Hanukkah party, where she entertained the children of faculty, staff, and community members. She also entertained faculty and staff at the campus holiday party.

A junior at UCSC at the time of her death, Natasha was studying history, politics, and education. She was also active in intercollegiate sports as a member of our women's lacrosse team.

Natasha was born in 1977 in Santa Cruz, where she was a student at Mount Madonna School. A 1996 graduate of Queen Anne's County High School in Maryland, Natasha was a true student-athlete who was a member of the National Honor Society and lettered in three sports.

Natasha's family has planned a funeral service for her on Saturday, January 2, in Woodland, California. UCSC will also remember Natasha in a ceremony that will be organized after the campus reopens on January 4. (For the time and location of the campus memorial, please call our Public Information Office at 459-2495.)

A scholarship fund in Natasha's memory is being established at her high school. Donations may be sent to the Natasha Wakida Scholarship Fund in care of Queen Anne's County High School in Centreville, MD 21617.

Our hearts go out to Natasha's family and many friends,

M.R.C. Greenwood

[Photo of Natasha Wakida]
Natasha Wakida, at her high school graduation

[Photo of Sammy, UCSC's mascot]
As the person behind UCSC's mascot, Natasha entertained audiences at a number of campus events (see more photos).

UCSC will hold a memorial service celebrating the life and spirit of Natasha Wakida on Monday, January 11, starting at 8:30 p.m. in the West Field House. For more information, call the Public Information Office at 459-2495.

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