Judge urges students to follow their passions

Acclaimed screenwriter speaks at UCSD graduation celebration



Mike Judge, acclaimed television writer and producer, urged a crowd of students and parents to find their niche at UCSD’s All Campus Graduation Celebration Friday night.

After graduating from UCSD in 1985 with a degree in physics, Judge worked several brief stints with engineering firms before turning to animation and entertainment and creating such cult classics as Beavis and Butthead, Office Space and King of the Hill.

“I never thought I’d say Beavis and Butthead is the beauty of a UCSD education, but here it is,” Chancellor Maryanne Fox said.

Armin Afsahi, UCSD alumni association director, said Judge was chosen to speak from a list of prominent alumni by a panel of 10 graduating seniors. Besides his status as a pop culture icon, Afsahi said students were moved by his unconventional story.

“I think students are going to be inspired, whether to take a direct path from their majors or an intellectual u-turn inspired by their passions,” Afsahi said.

Judge told students to learn from their experiences, and said that his post-college struggles to find a job with his physics degree and his experiences in the workforce provided ample material for his writing.

“We were told that if we majored in science, jobs would come raining out of the sky, there’d be no more world hunger, we’d all be working for Motorola and driving Corvettes,” Judge said.

Judge soon realized that a conventional nine to fiver was not his cup of tea, though, and said he fell in love with animation after attending an animation fair in Dallas in 1990.

While he found his niche in the entertainment industry, Judge said it is important for students to find what it is that people both want and need, while keeping an open mind and following their true passions.

“I’d like to point out, the job is a recent development in human history, like, the Vikings never worried about unemployment,” Judge said. “There’s always another path you can take.”