They built bridges. Defused explosives. Defended freedom. For generations, Caltech alumni have served the United States. And they continue to give back by supporting their alma mater’s scientists and engineers. To commemorate Veterans Day, we share a few stories of alumni veterans’ military service, their years on campus, and their Caltech philanthropy.
Since he saw Sputnik 1 as a child, Caltech trustee and Distinguished Alumni Award winner David W. Thompson (MS ’78) has been reaching for the stars.
The NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, given to “exceptionally creative scientists,” is part of its High-Risk, High-Reward Research program.
Anneila Sargent (MS ’67, PhD ’78), Caltech’s Ira S. Bowen Professor of Astronomy, Emeritus, has made a gift to establish the Wallace L. W. Sargent Fellowship. With this fellowship, she is supporting tomorrow’s scientists and engineers while also honoring her late husband. Wallace “Wal” Sargent, former Ira S. Bowen Professor of Astronomy, served on the Caltech faculty from 1966 until his death in 2012.
Caltech has created a new interdisciplinary major that teaches students to process, communicate, and analyze big data
Venture capitalist Brad Jones puts his money on ingenuity with a gift to Caltech.
When asked what makes his alma mater special, Roger Davisson (BS ’65, MS ’66) frames his thoughts with a literary allusion. “Walt Whitman wrote, ‘I contain multitudes,’” he says. “Well, Caltech contains multitudes. The Institute has some of the brightest and best minds, and they gather across disciplines in a way that I don’t think happens elsewhere. For a small school, the amount of stuff that’s going on is truly remarkable.”
Researchers looking for a way to bridge the “valley of death” can compete for RI2 funding.
Visiting Caltech in fall 2017, trustees Lynn Booth and Kent Kresa had a chance to stop by the newly opened Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies (CAST). This interdisciplinary hub advances research on autonomous systems and robots with potential benefits ranging from improving disaster rescue and response to providing mobility for people with disabilities to expanding our ability to explore land, water, and outer space. The promise of innovation on display so fired the couple’s imagination that they decided to endow the Booth-Kresa Leadership Chair for CAST.
“The beaver may be our official mascot, but to many outside our community, Techers are considered unicorns,” says Robert Eng, a scholarship recipient and member of Caltech’s Class of 2018.