Center Stage: 2013 UC San Diego Chancellor’s Medal Honorees Announced

UC San Diego honor to be bestowed upon community leaders and art supporters

Conrad Prebys

The University of California, San Diego today announced that three dedicated philanthropists and patrons of the arts, Conrad Prebys and Molli and Arthur Wagner, have been selected to receive the 2013 Chancellor’s Medal.  One of the highest honors given by the campus, the Chancellor’s Medal recognizes exceptional service in support of UC San Diego’s mission. The awards will be given on Nov. 16, as part of UC San Diego’s annual Founders Celebration.

“I am pleased to announce this year’s prestigious Chancellor’s Medal recipients,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Our honorees are remarkable leaders who have significantly enhanced arts and culture in the region—both for students and the community. Conrad Prebys made it possible to build one of the world’s finest concert halls right here at UC San Diego. Arthur and Molli Wagner’s support has helped position the campus as one of the nation’s top colleges to study theatre and dance.”

Since the Chancellor’s Medal was established in 2000, it has been given to a select group of individuals whose long-standing contributions and involvement with UC San Diego have supported motivated students and furthered meaningful research, helped the campus and local communities grow and prosper, and inspired the community and enhanced the quality of life for San Diegans.

The honorees were chosen from an impressive group of nominees. Following is more information about the 2013 Chancellor’s Medalists, with excerpts from their nominations:

Conrad Prebys

“Mr. Prebys puts faith in organizations by providing funds that support their existing goals unequivocally. And he has done this in a humble, supportive and celebratory way.”

For over a decade, Conrad Prebys has been making a great impact in San Diego with his philanthropy. He made a successful career as a real estate developer and property manager in San Diego for the past 40 years with a focus on affordable housing. Providing the most significant gifts in the history of UC San Diego’s music program, Prebys gave $6 million to build the Conrad Prebys Music Center, which houses a world-class concert hall designed by one of the most distinguished acousticians in the world. Without Prebys’s support, the project would not have become a reality. He then gave an additional $3 million endowment for graduate student fellowships and to maintain the infrastructure of the Conrad Prebys Concert Hall. He has also given to UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center and The Preuss School UCSD.  In addition, Prebys has shown great generosity and leadership throughout the San Diego community with gifts to the San Diego Zoo, Scripps Health, the Old Globe Theatre, the Boys and Girls Club, KPBS, San Diego Opera and others.

Molli and Arthur Wagner

Molli and Arthur Wagner

“In their four decades of arts leadership on campus, the Wagners have left an indelible impact on the quality of theater and the power of performance for the entire San Diego area.”

Molli and Arthur Wagner arrived at UC San Diego in 1972, when Arthur was appointed the founding chair of the department of drama, now the department of theatre and dance. He, together with his colleagues in the department, raised the department’s reputation to where it is recognized as one of the top three in the country. In addition, Arthur played a large role in shaping the educational theater system in the United States. Together, the Wagners have showed great generosity in enhancing the vision of Arts and Humanities at UC San Diego. They have provided funding for the Molli and Arthur Wagner Dance Building, the Arthur Wagner Theatre, the Wagner Endowed Graduate Acting Fellowship, the Arthur and Molli Wagner Endowed Chair in Acting (the only one of its kind in the nation) and have made the lead gift to the Student Production Fund Endowment, for which they are also serving as co-chairs. The endowment seeks to provide continued funding for student productions, despite state budget cuts. In recognition of the Wagners’ generosity, the campus renamed the Wagner New Play Festival in their honor. They have also supported ArtPower!, scholarships and The Preuss School UCSD. They are Friends of the Stuart Collection and members of UC San Diego Chancellor’s Associates.

Previous recipients of the Chancellor’s Medal include:

  • 2012: Bob and Betty Beyster; Arthur Brody; Julia Brown; and Peter, ’67, and Peggy Preuss
  • 2011: Richard and Rita Atkinson; John and Ann Davies; Sheldon, ’72, and Susan Engelhorn; Anne Ratner; and L.S. and Aline Skaggs
  • 2010: Pauline Foster; Audrey Geisel; Irwin and Joan Jacobs; Jerome and Miriam Katzin; and Ernest and Evelyn Rady
  • 2005: Maurice and Charmaine Kaplan
  • 2003: Charlie Robins; and Darlene Shiley
  • 2002: Malin Burnham
  • 2000: Neil Morgan

In addition to the awarding of the Chancellor’s Medals during Founders’ Celebration, UC San Diego will also bestow the Revelle Medal upon Walter Munk, professor emeritus of Scripps Institution of Oceanography.  The Revelle Medal was recently revived by the chancellor to recognize UC San Diego faculty members for their sustained, distinguished and extraordinary service to the campus.

For more information on the Chancellor’s Medal, please visit chancellor.ucsd.edu/about-the-office/the-chancellors-medal. For details about Founders’ Celebration, go to founders.ucsd.edu.

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