Fantastic Founders

I'm off today to Russia, where I'll deliver an invited talk about our campus's path to academic excellence. UCSC recently placed seventh in the world in a ranking of universities under the age of 50, and my hosts are eager to hear how we've accomplished so much in so little time. As always, it will be an honor to share our story with an international audience.

This trip follows last week's whirlwind of events. Friday's sixth annual Founders Gala was a great success. Nearly 400 people packed the Cocoanut Grove, and it was great to see so many students this year. A number of student groups tabled during the reception, and I had a chance to discuss the situation for AB540 students with members of our student government and our Educational Opportunity Programs. Then Cloud 9 kicked off the program with a great performance!

I devoted my formal remarks to why I'm so proud of the campus, but the highlight of the evening was hearing what our honorees had to say about UC Santa Cruz. Outstanding Alumni Awardee Shannon Brownlee talked about how her Banana Slug years prepared her for success as a journalist and author, while Faculty Research Lecturer Gail Hershatter spoke movingly about how much she appreciates UCSC as an intellectual community. Gail Michaelis-Ow and her husband George received our Fiat Lux Award, and Gail told of how much the campus has meant to the community. We honored Intel co-founder Gordon Moore and his wife Betty with the Foundation Medal. Gordon is the originator of Moore's Law, which predicts that computing power will double every two years, and I got a kick out of Foundation President Ken Doctor's quip that "If only we could apply Moore's Law to our fundraising, our budget problems would be solved." How true! Finally, Foundation Medal recipient Martin Rees, England's Astronomer Royal and an old friend and collaborator, amused the audience by endorsing Proposition 30 to help preserve California's higher education. Martin had given an engaging talk earlier in the day at the Foundation Forum, and I was delighted to see the campus turn out for this accomplished, and thoroughly delightful, man.

More soon--from Moscow!

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