UCSB Athletics Receives $1 Million Commitment from Tropicana Student Living

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Tropicana Student Living and UCSB Athletics announced a $1 million commitment to the school's Intercollegiate Athletics program Friday. The gift from Tropicana Student Living, a gift intention made through the Gaucho Fund to be paid over several years, will be part of The Campaign for UC Santa Barbara, the university's comprehensive campaign approaching one billion dollars to benefit university programs, students, faculty and staff.

"We have long appreciated the enormous effort that UCSB Athletics' coaches and players have done to excel at their sport and reach out to our UCSB students as well as the youth in the local Santa Barbara community," explained Kent W. Dunn, Managing Principal of Tropicana Student Living. "Through our daily work with the University, we have become aware of plans that are actively underway to enhance several UCSB Athletic facilities."

"We are so appreciative of this commitment from Tropicana Student Living and their part in the success of our programs and student-athletes," said Mark Massari, Director of UCSB Athletics.

The Tropicana Student Living gift of $100,000 for the 2013-14 year, the first of their commitment of annual gifts at the same amount, will bring the Gauchos to over $2.2 million in funds raised -- one of the most successful fundraising years in UCSB Athletics' history. The initial gift will directly support needs of the baseball program, including the planned Gaucho Park entry plaza. Subsequent year contributions will provide broad-based support to all 20 intercollegiate programs at the discretion of the Athletic Director.

Tropicana Student Living operates privately-owned residence halls and apartments for students attending the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) and other local education institutions. Situated on the western edge of campus with a diverse community of undergraduate students, Tropicana Del Norte is a residence hall well known for its comfortable suite-style units, unlimited meal plan and resort-style amenities, while Tropicana Villas is an academically focused apartment community catering to upperclassmen. The Official Student Housing sponsor of UCSB Athletics, Tropicana Student Living also hosts more than 90 summer camps annually and has been the summer home of Michael Jordan's Flight School since 1995.

"Tropicana communities provide a living environment that supports a successful transition from home to independent living and academic success by following a wellness model that encompasses the physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual and environmental elements of student life and growth," Dave Wilcox, Tropicana's Executive Director said. "Our management team, most of whom live on site, works closely with campus officials to ensure that our community policies are consistent with campus missions and policies."

"Tropicana's student residents—athletes and non-athletes alike—are outstanding in every way," Dunn said. "They are talented and hard-working and reflect the greatness of a world-class institution. We are grateful for the opportunity to be partnered with UCSB to serve them."

UCSB student-athletes have an 85% NCAA graduation success rate – second highest within the University of California system. UCSB is one of only 62 members of the distinguished Association of American Universities (AAU). The university's 450 student-athletes compete across 20 NCAA Division I sports.

To make a donation to UCSB Athletics, please visit www.gauchofund.com or call Andy Fee, Senior Associate Athletics Director for Development at 805.893.4960. For more information about Tropicana Student Living, call Executive Director Dave Wilcox at 805.968.4319.

Tropicana Del Norte Applauds Former RA at I Madonnari Festival

SANTA BARBARA, CA – May 26, 2014 – Students from East Palo Alto’s Phoenix Academy high school created a beautiful chalk art square for Tropicana Student Living at the 2014 I Madonnari street painting festival at the Santa Barbara Mission this Memorial Day weekend. The surreal images inspired by nature were completed under the direction of former Trop Resident Assistnat, Brandon Teris. Brandon is now an Art Instructor at East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy, and he has been bringing his students to participate in I Madonnari for the past four years. This year, 8 students from Phoenix Academy made up Tropicana’s I Madonnari student team.

 The students from East Palo Alto’s Phoenix Academy. (Left to Right) Nick H., Manny N., Brenda H., Fernanda G., David A., Cindy M., Tandra M., Jazlin B.

“We are very proud of Brandon and his team,” said Dave Wilcox, Executive Director. “We love their work and look forward to welcoming them back to Tropicana for the I Madonnari festival next year.”


In 2012, Brandon returned to paint a mural for the the upper Café at Tropicana Del Norte, a residence hall for UCSB students. A year later, he turned the Tropicana Del Norte study lounge into an academic oasis with a calming ocean scene.

Brandon Teris, former Resident Assistant, with the mural he painted in the study lounge at Tropicana Del Norte.

Tropicana Students Feed More than 7,500 Hungry Children

SANTA BARBARA, CA – April 17, 2014 - For several hours on a sunny Thursday afternoon, more than 75 Tropicana Student Living residents and staff  along with UCSB Lacrosse, UCSB Field Hockey, and local youth soccer teams came together to prepare meal packets for Stop Hunger Now. Tropicana Gardens Café turned into an assembly line to create 7,500 meals of rice, soy protein, dehydrated vegetables and nutrients.  

Isla Vista hasn’t been seen in the greatest light the last couple weeks, and we want to show that our students are doing great things here at Tropicana Student Living,” says Dave Wilcox, Executive Director of Tropicana Student Living.  “This is just an example of something that they’re doing that’s great for the community and great for the world.” The 7,500 meals that the Tropicana students and staff assembled will be distributed to Guatemala through Stop Hunger Now, an international hunger relief agency that ships them to school feeding programs in developing countries.

Stop Hunger Now coordinates the distribution of food and other life-saving aid around the world, with a mission to end hunger in our lifetime. Stop Hunger Now’s meal packing program began in 2005, and since then, more than 100,000 volunteers have packaged nearly 30 million meals to feed the world’s impoverished.

About Tropicana Student Living

Tropicana Student Living operates private residence halls and apartments for students attending the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) and Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) in Santa Barbara, California.  Tropicana Del Norte Residence Hall (www.tropicanadelnorte.com), conveniently located adjacent to UCSB's Main Campus is a small and friendly community with spacious suite-style units, an unlimited meal plan and resort-style living. Tropicana Villas (www.tropvillas.com) is an Isla Vista apartment community that caters to upperclassmen with furnished apartments and flexible leasing options. Tropicana Gardens (www.tropicanagardens.com), located an express bus ride away from Santa Barbara City College, is a private residence hall that provides an attractive alternative to apartments for SBCC students with its suite-style units and social and recreational activities organized by its large team of energetic RAs. For more information about housing options for UCSB and SBCC students, please call 805-968-4319.



Tropicana Student Living Rolls out a New Name and Look

Santa Barbara, CA – October 9, 2013Tropicana Student Living, a local Santa Barbara student housing organization, unveiled a new name and look this week, changing their name from Tropicana Student Housing to Tropicana Student Living.

"We feel that the name Tropicana Student Living better aligns with our mission and identity," said Dave Wilcox, Executive Director. "We are very proud of the superb undergraduate living experience that we deliver to our residents with our extensive residential life program, tropical-themed communities and dedicated staff."

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Tropicana Student Housing Welcomes Michael Jordan Flight School

Santa Barbara, CA – August 1, 2013 – Tropicana Student Housing is proud to welcome Michael Jordan Flight School 2013 basketball camps for the 18th year.  Campers, who range in age from 7-18, will be staying at Tropicana Gardens and Tropicana Del Norte residence halls. With its convenient proximity to the UCSB Thunderdome, Tropicana’s residence halls are within easy walking distance for the campers, with suite-style accommodations and an on-site Café for meals.

“Every year, I am so excited to work with the Michael Jordan Flight School and their staff.  They are so professional, organized and they really work hard for all their participants to have such a great experience.” said David Wilcox, Executive Director. “I believe this is why they have so many participants that come back every year!”

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