“This unprecedented suite of leadership chairs makes a powerful statement about Caltech values,” said President Rosenbaum, holder of the Sonja and William Davidow Presidential Chair and professor of physics, in the first announcement of these new chairs. “It challenges our faculty and students to push the boundaries of knowledge and create new fields of inquiry. The visionary philanthropists who created these chairs are some of Caltech’s most knowledgeable and dedicated friends. We deeply appreciate the confidence that their generous gifts demonstrate.”
The multimillion-dollar endowment funding each chair exemplifies one of the Break Through campaign’s emphases: long-term discretionary funds to secure Caltech’s future as a source of transformative discovery for the world.
More than honoring individual distinguished scholars, Caltech’s leadership chairs are linked to specific positions, providing a perpetual source of funds that the current chairholders and their successors can distribute quickly and flexibly when they see special opportunities to sponsor world-changing science, engineering, and educational initiatives at Caltech.
Completion of this suite of chairs fulfilled an important campaign initiative and has generated momentum for naming similar chairs for individual departments and other academic programs.
The dinner brought together donors Carl Larson (BS ’52), Kent Kresa, and Ted (BS ’65, MS ’66) and Ginger Jenkins with faculty members who already are applying funds from the chair endowments to support exciting efforts under way at Caltech. In absentia, William (MS ’59) and Sonja Davidow, Shirley Larson, Ronald (MS ’62, PhD ’64) and Maxine Linde, and Lynn Booth also were honored.
These are the initial eight leadership chairs:
- The William and Sonja Davidow Presidential Chair
- The Carl and Shirley Larson Provostial Chair
- The Ronald and Maxine Linde Leadership Chair in the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences
- The Ted and Ginger Jenkins Leadership Chair in the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
- The Kent and Joyce Kresa Leadership Chair in the Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
- The William K. Bowes Jr. Leadership Chair in the Division of Biology and Biological Engineering
- The Norman Davidson Leadership Chair in the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
- The Otis Booth Leadership Chair in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science