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Chancellor’s Medal

Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

UC San Diego Announces Chancellor’s Medal and Revelle Medal Honorees

Awards to Sue and Steve Hart, T. Denny Sanford, Shu Chien and Peter Gourevitch among the most prestigious given by UC San Diego

The University of California, San Diego today announced that UC San Diego alumni Sue and Steve Hart, and businessman and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, will receive the 2014 Chancellor’s Medals—one of the highest awards given by UC San Diego to honor exceptional service in support of the campus’s mission. University professor and National Medal of Science recipient Shu Chien, along with distinguished professor emeritus and founding dean of the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies Peter Gourevitch, will receive the 2014 Roger Revelle Medal, which recognizes current and former faculty for sustained, distinguished and extraordinary service to the campus. Each of the medals will be bestowed upon the respective honorees at UC San Diego’s annual Founders Dinner celebration Nov. 15.

“I am pleased to honor these remarkable visionaries,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Each has shown such an extraordinary commitment to UC San Diego and contributed to the impact of our campus in the community—from delivering much-needed medical therapies, to supporting our students and future leaders, to establishing the campus as a hub for international research.”

Since the Chancellor’s Medal was established in 2000, it has been given to select individuals and couples whose long-standing contributions to and involvement with UC San Diego have supported promising 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 Chancellor’s Medal honorees were chosen from an impressive group of nominees. Following are excerpts from their nominations:

Sue and Steve Hart

Sue and Steve Hart

Sue and Steve Hart

“The broad range of their activities reflects their appreciation and understanding about the value of UC San Diego’s role in cultivating individual minds and programs that produce regional and global impact.”

Alumni Sue and Steve Hart have served UC San Diego in many capacities—as generous philanthropists, advisors to academic leadership and mentors to students. The couple met on campus as graduate students in mathematics. Steven received his master’s degree in 1980 and Sue went on to earn her doctorate in 1986. That same year, Steven co-founded ViaSat, Inc., a leading manufacturer of satellite and wireless technology. He has since played an essential role in recruiting UC San Diego’s graduates to work at ViaSat, and most recently, the company gave a $1 million gift to the UC San Diego Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination. The Harts' philanthropy spans many years at UC San Diego: they were the first donors to the Alumni Leadership Scholarship Endowment in the early 2000s, providing the catalyst for more than 30 alumni donors to create scholarship endowments. They established the Kevin T. Hart Memorial Scholarship in honor of their late son, with the hope of helping future students. The couple also supports the Clarion Writers Workshop, a unique forum for speculative literature that draws rising literary stars from across the country. Steven serves on the Jacobs School of Engineering Dean’s Council of Advisors, while Sue is a member of the Undergraduate Scholarship Council and the UCSD Alumni awards committee.

Denny Sanford

T. Denny Sanford

T. Denny Sanford

“Denny Sanford embodies the maverick entrepreneurialism that has described UC San Diego since our earliest days. Denny is an inquisitive, thoughtful man who thrives on risk—thankfully for those who will one day benefit from the work we do."

BusinessWeek magazine has listed T. Denny Sanford among its 50 most generous philanthropists. The South Dakota businessman made his fortune as the owner of First Premier Bank and Premier Bankcard, and currently as chairman and CEO of United National Corp. In November 2013, he announced a $100 million pledge to establish the UC San Diego Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center—the second largest gift in the university’s history. The new center will be designed to accelerate the process of moving stem cell research into human clinical trials, and ultimately therapies that can benefit people around the world. The center will build on the science that Sanford facilitated with a $30 million gift to the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine in 2008. The consortium brings scientists, postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students from UC San Diego together with colleagues from the Sanford-Burnham Institute, The Scripps Research Institute, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology. He is also a consistent supporter of The Preuss School UCSD,a charter middle and high school on the UC San Diego campus for motivated, low-income students who strive to become the first in their families to graduate from college. Sanford regularly contributes to support the greatest needs at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

The Revelle Medal—revived last year by Chancellor Khosla—was created in honor of Roger Revelle, who helped establish UC San Diego during his tenure from 1950-1964 as director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Revelle placed great emphasis on recruiting top academics to the fledgling campus, which built the foundation for UC San Diego to become one of the top 10 public universities in the nation. Information about the 2014 Revelle Medal recipients follows:

Shu Chien

Shu Chien

Shu Chien

“Shu Chien is widely known as an exceptional researcher, instructor, mentor and citizen of the university and his professional community.”

Shu Chien received the National Medal of Science from President Barack Obama in 2011 in recognition of his contributions in the field of cardiovascular physiology and bioengineering. A UC San Diego professor of bioengineering and medicine, Chien is a world leader in the study of how blood flow and pressure affect blood vessels. His research has led to the development of better diagnostic tests and treatments for atherosclerosis as well as other diseases. Chien played a crucial role in forming the Jacobs School’s department of bioengineering and building it into a world-class institution that is ranked No. 1 for biomedical engineering by the National Research Council. As director of the UC San Diego Institute of Engineering in Medicine, he is leading efforts to further strengthen research and educational collaborations between all departments of the Jacobs School of Engineering, the School of Medicine and the Skaggs School of Pharmacy. Chien is one of only a handful of scholars who are members of all three U.S. national institutes—the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine. He has served in leadership positions in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and other professional societies.

Peter Gourevitch

Peter Gourevitch

Peter Gourevitch

“In everything he has done, Peter Gourevitch has not only created opportunities for others, but continues to hold us all, by his example, to the highest standards of scholarship, innovation and inclusion.”

Distinguished professor emeritus of the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies Peter Gourevitch joined UC San Diego in 1979 and served as chair of the department of political science from 1980-1983. In 1986, he was appointed as the founding dean of the school—the nation’s leading program for study of the Pacific, and the first such school at a public university. Gourevitch played a formative role in lifting UC San Diego, which began as a school known primarily for its scientific research, to the top echelons of social science research and teaching. He revolutionized the study of international relations and comparative politics by conceptualizing how the international economy shapes domestic politics and vice versa. Regarded as one of the most highly respected political scientists in the world, he was elected in 1995 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and served as co-editor of International Organization, the premier journal in international relations. He received distinguished fellowships from the Guggenheim and Russell Sage Foundations, among others, as well as numerous awards for research. He also played a key role with Cecil Lytle and Bud Mehan in establishing The Preuss School UCSD, recognized by Newsweek as the top transformative high school in the nation.

Other esteemed recipients of the Chancellor’s Medal include Neil Morgan (2000), Malin Burnham (2002), Darlene Shiley (2003), Charlie Robins (2003), and Maurice and Charmaine Kaplan (2005). Chancellor’s Medal recipients in 2010 were Pauline Foster, Audrey Geisel, Irwin and Joan Jacobs, Jerome and Miriam Katzin, and Ernest and Evelyn Rady. Honorees in 2011 were Richard and Rita Atkinson, John and Ann Davies, Sheldon and Susan Engelhorn, Anne Ratner, and L.S. and Alene Skaggs. The 2012 medalists included Bob and Betty Beyster; Arthur Brody; Julia Brown; and Peter and Peggy Preuss, while the honorees in 2013 were Conrad Prebys and Molli and Arthur Wagner.

Last year, world-renowned oceanographer Walter Munk received the Roger Revelle Medal.