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  • Erika Johnson

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  • Erika Johnson

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UC San Diego Foundation Welcomes Seven New Trustees

Much more than financial advisors, UC San Diego Foundation trustees work as a team to connect the university with community partners and discover resources needed to launch innovative programs. Some of the campus’s most impactful initiatives—such as the Qualcomm Institute, the Preuss School UCSD, Moores Cancer Center, and more—were made possible through gifts to the Foundation. To ensure the continued success and growth of the campus, seven new trustees will join the 2013-14 Foundation board, including two UC San Diego alumni, a former chancellor and several regional business executives.

“We are pleased to welcome seven new esteemed trustees to our Foundation board,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “By contributing their expertise and fostering community connections, our trustees enable us to improve access, enhance programming and ensure our campus continues to thrive.”

The Foundation is comprised of 42 trustees who work together to strategize the most effective means to obtain gifts and manage the Foundation’s endowment of nearly $436 million dollars. Members are chosen based on their level of involvement and support of UC San Diego. Each member is elected for a three-year term and is eligible for a second three-year term.

Peter Preuss, ’67, the first alumni chair of the Foundation, will continue to lead the board this year. “I understand the integral role private support must play to sustain the excellence of our academic programs and research, which impacts society, the environment and human lives,” said Preuss.

This year’s incoming trustees include:

From left, Robert C. Dynes, Steve Hart, Sanjay Jha, Mel Katz, Jessie J. Knight Jr., Robert Marren and Bill Scripps.

Robert C. Dynes, UC President emeritus and former UC San Diego Chancellor

“UC San Diego is the most innovative, creative university in the world, and it happens to be in one of the loveliest places on Earth,” affirmed Robert C. Dynes, University of California president emeritus and former UC San Diego chancellor. A first-generation college graduate, Dynes was a research scientist for more than two decades at AT&T Bell Laboratories prior to arriving at UC San Diego as a professor of physics. Dynes will contribute his multifaceted experience as a Foundation trustee this year.

Steve Hart, alumnus, co-founder of ViaSat

“I was one of those people who wanted to be a student for life,” said Steve Hart, who graduated from UC San Diego with a master’s degree in mathematics in 1980. Hart is co-founder and chief technology officer of ViaSat, a global communications company headquartered in San Diego. Steve and his wife, Sue, who received a Ph.D. from UC San Diego, work diligently to remove barriers for low-income students by contributing to undergraduate scholarships and help support the new Arthur C. Clarke Center for Imagination.

Sanjay Jha, former chief executive officer, Motorola; former chief operating officer, Qualcomm

Sanjay Jha gravitated toward San Diego for its reputation as a leading hub of biotechnology. Born in India and brought up in England, Jha was CEO of the Mobility Devices arm of Motorola as well as chief operating officer of Qualcomm. “Until now, my experience with UC San Diego has largely been in hiring graduates; they’re some of the best,” said Jha. He looks forward to being a part of the Foundation and connecting with an institution that is at the forefront of technology.

Mel Katz, executive officer, Manpower—San Diego branch

Passionate about expanding literacy and strengthening public schools, Mel Katz is committed to civic improvement and community enrichment. As executive officer of the San Diego branch of Manpower, a global staffing corporation, Katz brings a dedication to community engagement and business savvy to the Foundation as a returning trustee. Katz was instrumental in garnering funds for the newly established Central Library in downtown San Diego and chairs the board of directors for the new charter high school in the library.

Jessie J. Knight Jr., chief executive officer, SDG&E

Jessie Knight brings an impressive repertoire of business acumen and marketing strategy to the Foundation. Currently the chairman and CEO of SDG&E and former president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, Knight is committed to bridging academia and industry to effectively sustain and grow UC San Diego. Knight has served as a board member for Calit2 at the Jacobs School of Engineering, the UC San Diego School of Medicine and the Founders board of the Rady School of Management and was honored in 2012 with the Scientists’ Recognition Award by Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Robert Marren, alumnus, managing director of Allianz Global Investors

Robert Marren graduated from UC San Diego in 1986 and returns this year as a Foundation trustee. Marren is a managing director at Allianz Global Investors.  He has remained active at UC San Diego as a former chair and member of the Investment/Finance Committee and advisor of the UC San Diego Student Foundation, where he mentors students on best practices. Marren and his wife, Amy, also an alumna, support scholarships and provide students with opportunities for professional growth.

Bill Scripps, president, W.H. Scripps Company

Returning this year as a trustee, Bill Scripps and his family have been linked to UC San Diego since its inception at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Adept at cultivating community partnerships and mobilizing leaders for campus initiatives, Scripps helped form the Director’s Cabinet at Scripps Oceanography and created an advisory board for Triton Athletics. Additionally, Scripps provides startup funds and additional support to campus programs through the Scripps Foundation for Science and the Environment.

Foundation executive officers include: Peter Preuss, chair; Carol Chang and Sheldon Englehorn, ’72, vice chairs; Eugene Step, treasurer; Steven Relyea, president; and Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. For more information, go here.

In addition, the current vice chair for the UC San Diego Foundation, Sheldon Englehorn, was recently appointed as Alumni Regent for the University of California Board of Regents, where he will advocate for UC San Diego and work to ensure a sustainable future for the university.

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