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Shown from left are Acting Chancellor George Blumenthal and his wife, Kelly Weisberg, Anne Levin, and Paul Levin. Photos: Terry Way

February 5, 2007

Award winners honored at Scholarships Dinner, Alumni Association Luncheon

By Shawna Hershfield and Louise Donahue

Saturday was a day for celebrating UCSC's achievements and looking ahead as faculty, staff, students, and supporters gathered for the Scholarships Benefit Dinner and the Alumni Association Awards Luncheon.

Photo of Julie Packard and Robert Stephens

Fiat Lux Award winners Julie Packard and Robert Stephens, above, and Robert Stephens, below
Photo of Robert Stephens

Photo of Yvonne Rodriguez

Scholarship recipient Yvonne Rodriguez, a 2001 College Eight graduate, is now working on her doctorate.

Three longtime UCSC supporters were honored at the sold-out Scholarships Benefit Dinner, at Seascape Resort in Aptos. (See earlier Currents story)

The event drew community members as well as university leadership, UC Santa Cruz Foundation trustees, elected officials, students, distinguished alumni, and regional leaders.

Anne Neufeld Levin, Robert Stephens, and Julie Packard received UCSC's highest honor, the Fiat Lux ("Let there be light") Awards. Stephens and Packard, who are spouses, received a joint award.

"Higher education offers the best solutions to the planet's problems, large and small," said Levin, a past president of the UC Santa Cruz Foundation who has contributed to programs and projects across the campus.

Stephens, a UCSC graduate who was cochair of the capital campaign committee for the Seymour Marine Discovery Center, praised the widespread commitment to the campus. "There are so many groups and people behind the scenes who make this place special."

Julie Packard, executive director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, called her education at UCSC "fabulous" and also looked ahead. "I'm such a strong believer in this university, I'm so proud of the work we do, but if we're going to be successful in the future, we have got to kick it up a notch."

Acting Chancellor George Blumenthal had good news for the gathering on that score. "We have a lot to celebrate. The UC Santa Cruz Foundation endowment has now passed $100 million. We achieved that thanks to many of the people in this room."

The fundraising focus of the dinner was on undergraduate and graduate scholarships and fellowships, and recipients explained just how much the assistance has meant. Many recipients are students who might not otherwise be able to attend UCSC.

"It's absolutely true that my scholarship changed my life," said Yvonne Rodriguez, who is now working on her Ph.D. in physics at UCSC.

Earlier Saturday, a pioneering medical researcher, an influential professor of Earth and planetary sciences, and an academic adviser known for her personal touch received the Alumni Association’s highest honors in a luncheon at the Porter College Dining Hall.

Joseph DeRisi received the Alumni Achievement Award; Gary Griggs, the Distinguished Teaching Award; and Lynne Wolcott, the Outstanding Staff Award. (See earlier Currents story)



From left, Alumni Association president Dominador Siababa, Joseph DeRisi, Acting Chancellor George Blumenthal, Lynne Wolcott, and Gary Griggs

 


                                            

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