La Jolla Shores Boardwalk Dedicated in Honor of Dr. Walter Munk

La Jolla Shores Boardwalk Dedicated in Honor of Dr. Walter Munk

  • Walter Munk

On October 18, 2017, Cambridge alumni, San Diego city dignitaries, and members of the general public joined together to honor Dr. Walter Munk (Churchill and Trinity 1986). 

On the eve of his 100th birthday, the La Jolla Shores boardwalk was renamed Walter Munk Way in honor of the world-leading researcher.

Dr. Munk has worked at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, a stone’s throw from the newly dedicated Walter Munk Way, since 1939, taking time out to spent three sabbaticals at Cambridge, the most recent at Churchill College in 1986. 

He is known for many firsts, including explaining why we only see one face of the moon, part of his work on ocean tides. Perhaps his most influential work for mankind was his research that was used to predict the optimum time for the Normandy landings in 1944, leading to the liberation of Europe. In his speech during the board walk’s dedication ceremony, Dr. Munk described the 2 ½ years of planning and preparation effort, from the US entering WWII to the Normandy landings, as a miracle. 

He continued, with a plea for a similar effort to reverse climate change, poignantly asserting that without a similar miracle, Walter Munk Way will not survive until it’s hundredth birthday, as he had been fortunate enough to do, as it will be inundated by the ocean due to sea-level rise.

Following the dedication, attendees moved to Pawka Green on the Scripps Institute of Oceanography campus for a birthday party. The following evening, Dr. Munk’s birthday, the San Diego Alumni Society President Dr. Brian Beeston (Churchill 1958) and his wife Anita were invited to a private party for Dr. Munk, at which he was presented with a letter of congratulations and appreciation for his ongoing support for the local alumni society and our remarkable University.