UC San Diego News Center


Sheldon Engelhorn Named UC San Diego’s Alumni Regent

Sheldon C. Engelhorn

Sheldon C. Engelhorn will serve on the University of California Board of Regents effective July 1, 2013.

A selection committee consisting of leadership from UCSD Alumni Board of Directors and the UC San Diego Foundation Board chose Engelhorn, a San Diego-based entrepreneur, university leader and philanthropist.

“In this time of state funding cuts, increasing student fees and accessibility, Sheldon’s expertise as a problem solver will give the Regents an important voice at the table,” said Armin Afsahi, executive director, UCSD Alumni and member of the selection committee. “As a reflective leader, Sheldon will be instrumental in advancing the ideal of public higher education and advocating for the entire UC San Diego Triton family.”

Engelhorn graduated from UC San Diego in 1972 with a B.S. in biology. He is a former executive vice president for NOVEX, which he co-founded in 1987 with Richard Chan, a 1974 alumnus of UCSD.  In 2000, NOVEX merged with Invitrogen.

For the past 12 years, Engelhorn has served on the UC San Diego Foundation Board of Trustees; chair and advisor to the Student Foundation; the UCSD Alumni Board of Directors as president; the UC San Diego Scholarship Council; and as a member and chair of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Cabinet.

Engelhorn has also been a champion of the community college transfer path to UC San Diego.  In 2003, the Engelhorn family created the Engelhorn Family Scholarship Fund for qualified transfer students who complete two years at a community college. “By extending UCSD’s reach to a wider pool of talent, we equip more promising young people for learning and innovation,” said Engelhorn. “Not all the people with the brains, imagination and commitment to solve the world’s problems have the financial resources to attend a school that will cultivate them the way UCSD can.” More than 240 students have benefitted from the Engelhorns’ generosity.

Engelhorn will join the Regents as the university system finds itself increasingly challenged by   California’s ability to support UC’s long-term growth needs. In his letter of intent to serve as Regent, he noted “If we want to preserve public support for these institutions in a world of difficult resource-allocation choices, we must make the case that we play a critical role in helping shape a healthy, sustainable future. We have to do a better job of translating our research and curriculum into practical solutions that demonstrably benefit the community.”

UC Alumni Regents are selected for two-year terms on a rotating basis from the system’s 10 campuses.