UC San Diego Announces 60th Anniversary Awardees
University presents inaugural Lifetime Legacy Award alongside 2020 Chancellor’s and Revelle Medal awards in honor of milestone anniversary
Since its founding in 1960, the University of California San Diego has made waves by actively redefining what it means to be a world-class public research university. Through the creative, forward-thinking efforts of its students, faculty, staff and alumni, UC San Diego has built a legacy of sparking discoveries that advance society and drive economic impact.
Now, the university commemorates six decades of looking ahead of tomorrow as it kicks off a yearlong 60th anniversary celebration. In recognition of this milestone, UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla will present the campus’s first-ever Lifetime Legacy Award on Nov. 19 as part of its virtual invite-only Founders Live event. The award recognizes individuals who exemplify a dedication beyond philanthropy by personally helping to shape UC San Diego and the institution’s impact on the world. The inaugural recipients are Irwin and Joan Jacobs, who were previously honored with the Chancellor’s Medal in 2010.
The university will also be presenting the 2020 Chancellor’s and Revelle Medal awards as part of its anniversary celebrations on Nov. 19 and Nov. 20, respectively.
“Within 60 years, UC San Diego has risen to become one of the largest, most productive and most prestigious research universities on the planet,” said Chancellor Khosla. “From the birth of our experimental campus, we committed to exploration and discovery outside the norm. As we celebrate the next phase of our university’s history, we honor the role that each of our medalists and honorees have played in our journey to greatness. Their extraordinary efforts have helped UC San Diego in solving societal challenges and driving progress locally, regionally and globally.”
Lifetime Legacy Award
The Lifetime Legacy Award will be granted only on the rarest occasions to exceptional campus visionaries. It is considered one of the highest and most prestigious honor bestowed by UC San Diego.
“The Jacobs family’s generosity, collaboration and partnership with UC San Diego is unmatched,” said Chancellor Khosla. “Their commitment to UC San Diego has impacted a broad spectrum of programs and initiatives throughout our enterprise, including UC San Diego Health, engineering, and arts and humanities. Their involvement has shaped tens-of-thousands of UC San Diego students, innovators and practitioners, and helped improve the lives of countless patients and people throughout our greater community.”
Irwin and Joan Jacobs
Irwin and Joan Jacobs are dedicated advisors and longtime supporters of UC San Diego. Their devotion to transforming the world through science, technology, the arts and healing is evidenced through their extraordinary philanthropy, such as directing $100 million in gifts toward the Jacobs Medical Center in La Jolla and $110 million to Jacobs School of Engineering.
They have also endowed faculty chairs and supported numerous scholarships, UC San Diego School of Medicine, the School of Global Policy and Strategy, the Stuart Collection and the Rady School of Management. Both have served as board members on the UC San Diego Foundation and currently serve as Honorary Chairs for the Campaign for UC San Diego.
Irwin Jacobs is founding chairman and CEO emeritus of Qualcomm Incorporated and a founding faculty member of UC San Diego. Joan Jacobs is a long-term board member of the La Jolla Playhouse and co-founder of the Friends of the International Center and the Friends of the Stuart Collection. She also currently chairs the UC San Diego Health Sciences Board of Advisors.
The Chancellor’s Medal
During the Nov. 19 Founders Live event, UC San Diego will be recognizing the 2020 recipients of the esteemed Chancellor’s Medal. Conceived in 2000, the Chancellor’s Medal is presented annually to select community leaders and philanthropists whose longstanding contributions and involvement have supported promising students, furthered meaningful research and helped the campus and local region grow and prosper. Awardees of this medal, one of the highest honors given by UC San Diego for exceptional service in support of the university’s mission, include: Elaine Galinson, Rebecca Moores, Herbert and Nicole Wertheim, and Gary and Mary West.
A loyal champion for UC San Diego since 1979, Elaine Galinson has demonstrated a commitment to civil discourse, social justice and the importance of education. In 2019, she pledged $5 million in grants to endow the Galinson/Glickman Campus Civility Program, created in partnership with the National Conflict Resolution Center and to provide for two classrooms. Her involvement on campus spans from a lifetime membership in Chancellor’s Associates; leadership on the UC San Diego Foundation Board of Trustees, including Chair; and contributions to ArtPower and the Stuart Collection. A passionate community leader, she has also served on the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee national board, the San Diego Jewish Community Foundation Board’s executive committee and as past chair of the San Diego Jewish Women’s Foundation. Further, Galinson is San Diego’s former chief of protocol and was honored by the Salvation Army as a woman of distinction.
Rebecca “Becky” Moores is an innovative leader, dedicated philanthropist and compassionate friend of UC San Diego. For nearly 25 years, she has made a monumental impact across the university with her support, extending from the eponymous Moores Cancer Center to the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center, Comprehensive Breast Health Center and the Conrad Prebys Music Center, among many other areas. Her vision and leadership has helped to propel novel therapies forward, elevate innovative treatments in breast health and provide a cutting-edge environment for researchers and scientists to drive solutions to complex medical challenges. Through her generosity for a variety of UC San Diego Health causes and private support from others, Moores Cancer Center has become a widely recognized National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, uniting cancer-related research laboratories, clinical trials, prevention and outreach programs and patient care under one roof.
Herbert and Nicole Wertheim
Herbert and Nicole Wertheim are passionate philanthropists, having supported numerous programs in education, research and the arts in their work directing the Wertheim Family Foundation. In 2018, they pledged $25 million to UC San Diego as a lead gift to establish the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science. This contribution ushered in a new era of public health research, education and advances. The school’s initiatives promote healthier populations on a local, national and global scale because of the university’s increased focus on public health. Dr. Herbert Wertheim is an engineer, optometrist, researcher, entrepreneur, and founder of Brain Power Incorporated, the world's largest manufacturer of ophthalmic instruments and chemicals, whose enduring discoveries and contributions in eye care and other scientific fields have touched millions. Nicole Wertheim is a dedicated patron of arts, community, education and health.
Gary and Mary West
Local successful entrepreneurs turned pioneering philanthropists, Gary and Mary West have been loyal UC San Diego supporters for over a decade. The Wests have established West Health, a family of three nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations with a singular mission of lowering healthcare costs to enable seniors to have access to high-quality, affordable health and support services that preserve and protect their dignity, quality of life and independence. They have recently supported the university with a capital grant to create the Gary and Mary West Senior Emergency Care Unit at UC San Diego Health, which opened in 2019. Additional funding from the West Health Institute is being used to conduct multi-year medical research for developing, evaluating and disseminating innovative care approaches for geriatric patients. The couple continues to set the standard for senior emergency care through the Gary and Mary West Emergency Department at UC San Diego Health.
The Revelle Medal
On Nov. 20, the Revelle Medal will be awarded to five current and former faculty members for sustained, distinguished and extraordinary service to the campus. The Revelle Medal 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. Conceived in 1981, the medal honors a record of accomplishment that advances UC San Diego in fulfillment of the campus mission of exceptional teaching, research, service and patient care. This year’s Revelle Medalists include: Rae Armantrout, Ruth Covell, Katja Lindenberg, Richard Madsen and Kirk Peterson.
Rae Armantrout, Professor Emerita, Literature
A faculty member at UC San Diego for over three decades, Rae Armantrout has emerged as one of the most recognizable voices in American poetry. She was a 2008 Guggenheim Fellow and recipient of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for her 10th book of poems, “Versed,” which was also awarded the 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award. Most recently, her book “Wobble” was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award in Poetry. She is widely recognized for her role as a founding figure in the first generation of Language Poets, an innovative group in the United States often credited with bringing the post-modern to poetry. In addition to her service to the university as a professor of literature and writing, she was instrumental in developing UC San Diego’s MFA in writing program where she is currently a member of the Emeriti Writing Faculty.
Ruth Covell, M.D., Dean Emerita, School of Medicine
A devoted educator, scholar and administrator, Dr. Ruth Covell joined the university in 1969 as UC San Diego School of Medicine welcomed its first class of students. She has had a longstanding career on campus, retiring as associate dean of UC San Diego School of Medicine in 2013. Her accomplishments include spearheading the establishment of the Academic Geriatric Resource Center and mentoring undergraduates within the UC San Diego Emeriti Mentor Program. In 2016, she was honored with the Edward A. Dickson Award for her commitment to serving students, promoting faculty development and supporting the community. She helped establish the board of San Ysidro Health Centers and currently serves on the board of the Epilepsy Foundation, San Diego Border Area Health Education Center, Project Concern International, Mental Health America, Women’s Empowerment, La Jolla Historical Society and the National Center of Leadership in Academic Medicine program.
Katja Lindenberg, Distinguished Professor Emerita, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Katja Lindenberg has a 50-year history on campus. Originally from Ecuador, she moved to the U.S. for higher education. After completing her Ph.D. (Cornell) and postdoc (Rochester) in physics, she joined UC San Diego in 1969. A founding faculty member of what is now Thurgood Marshall College, she rose through the ranks to serve as Chancellor's Associates Endowed Chair in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She also served on the UC’s Quinquennial Review Committee on Latino Research, the Task Force on founding of UC Merced and the Search Committee for the UC San Diego Chancellor (2011-12). An esteemed educator, she received the 2005 Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award and the UC Oliver Johnson Award. She retired in 2019, leaving a legacy that includes more than 400 publications and advocacy for raising the status of women and underrepresented minorities on campus, further demonstrating her extraordinary leadership.
Richard Madsen, Distinguished Professor, Sociology
Richard Madsen is a highly respected scholar and public intellectual who first joined the UC San Diego community in 1978. A distinguished professor of sociology, serving now as the director of the Fudan-UC Center on Contemporary China, he is credited with both being a modern-day founder of the study of Chinese religion and with helping to revive the academic discipline of sociology in China. At UC San Diego he has served as chair of the Department of Sociology, interim provost for Eleanor Roosevelt College and as part of the steering committee to establish what is now the School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS). Madsen has authored 13 books on Chinese culture, United States society, U.S.-China relations and international relations; his 1995 book “Habits of the Heart” won the Los Angeles Times Book Award and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.
Kirk Peterson, M.D., Dean Emeritus, Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center
Throughout his 50 years of service to the institution, Kirk L. Peterson, M.D., has played an integral role in UC San Diego School of Medicine’s growth and its strides in cardiovascular research and clinical health care. As former director of the Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center, Peterson’s leadership and academic contributions have helped guide rising health professionals in their careers. His accomplishments include creating a first-class training program in cardiovascular medicine and authoring over 100 original articles as well as 50 review articles and book chapters. The Professor of Medicine Emeritus has held the Edith and William Perlman Chair of Clinical Cardiology for over 25 years, served as director of the Seaweed Canyon Cardiovascular Physiology Laboratory for 15 years and sat on the Journal of the American College of Cardiology editorial board. Further, he has served as a cardiology consultant for the Naval Regional Medical Center and the VA San Diego Healthcare System.