The Chancellor’s Medal

CCAB Group
Marion and Kwan So receive the Chancellor’s Medal.

The Chancellor’s Medal is one of the highest honors given by UC San Diego for exceptional service in support of the university’s mission.

The Chancellor’s Medal recognizes visionaries whose long-standing contributions have supported promising students and furthered meaningful research, community leaders who have helped the campus and local communities grow and prosper, and extraordinary individuals who have inspired our community and enhanced the quality of life of San Diegans through their involvement with UC San Diego.

Conceived in 2000, the Chancellor’s Medal is traditionally presented in conjunction with celebrations marking Founders Day in November. The 2021 Chancellor's Medalists will be recognized at a live event in Spring 2022. 

Nomination Guidelines     Nominate Now

Past Chancellor’s Medal Recipients

2021

Phyllis and Dan Epstein

Phyllis and Dan Epstein

Phyllis and Dan Epstein have dedicated over 25 years of tireless service to UC San Diego as volunteers and campus advocates. Their recent $10 million commitment to name the new state-of-the-art Epstein Family Amphitheater demonstrates their commitment to enriching the arts experience for students and the broader San Diego community. The couple's decades-long legacy of transformational leadership spans the breadth of the university, from health care, to research, to the arts. They currently serve as trustees of the UC San Diego Foundation and as members of the Chancellor’s Executive Advisory Cabinet for the Campaign for UC San Diego. Dan Epstein also serves on the Rady School Dean's Advisory Council and the UC San Diego Health Board of Advisors, while Phyllis is a member of the Arts and Humanities Dean’s Advisory Council, the School of Global Policy and Strategy International Advisory Board, and chair of the UC San Diego Foundation Donor Relations and Stewardship Committee.

 
Hanna and Mark Gleiberman

Hanna and Mark Gleiberman

Hanna and Mark Gleiberman are passionate leaders and visionaries—changemakers who embody UC San Diego’s mission to make a difference in our world. Their recent $12 million commitment to name the Hanna and Mark Gleiberman Head and Neck Cancer Center at Moores Cancer Center encompasses clinical trials, fellowships, faculty support, research grants, patient experience and expenses, and helps provide services not covered by health insurance for those who cannot afford them. In addition to their support across UC San Diego—including the Triton Food Pantry, Triton Athletics, UC San Diego Hillel, and the Pediatric Diabetes Research Center, as well as an innovative class on homelessness that is serving as a model for similar programs across the country—the Gleibermans are leaders on campus and across the community. Their $1 million gift to the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center supported the development of San Diego’s first fully accessible playground. Mark Gleiberman serves on the UC San Diego Foundation Board of Trustees, Real Estate and Development Advisory Board of Directors, and was formerly on the UC San Diego Athletic Board. Hanna Gleiberman serves as a trustee of the La Jolla Playhouse.

 
Gaby and Richard Sulpizio

Gaby and Richard Sulpizio

Gaby and Richard Sulpizio are vital leaders within the UC San Diego and greater San Diego community. Their transformational gift 10 years ago to establish the Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center at UC San Diego Health has revolutionized cardiovascular services and surgery at UC San Diego and across the region, impacting countless lives and catalyzing groundbreaking health care and research. Their involvement at UC San Diego runs deep: Richard Sulpizio is a member of the UC San Diego Health Board of Advisors, the Cardiovascular Institute Director's Council and the UC San Diego Athletics Kitchen Cabinet, while Gaby was a longtime volunteer and advisor for the former UC San Diego Heart of San Diego event. Her advocacy and support for heart and cardiovascular disease research and care was recognized by the American Heart Association, which awarded her the Legendary Women of the Heart award in 2015.

 
Patricia and Christopher Weil

Patricia and Christopher Weil

For 25 years, Patricia and Christopher Weil have been advocates for UC San Diego, supporting community partnerships, arts and humanities, and education and scholarships. They were among The Preuss School UC San Diego’s earliest supporters, and their family foundation has supported hundreds of four-year college scholarships to Preuss graduates and graduates of other low-income high schools. For many years, Pat Weil was an active member of the Preuss Board, and she continues to serve as a member of its Academic Advisory Committee. Both the Weils serve on the Division of Arts and Humanities Dean’s Advisory Council and are pleased to have been able to contribute to the increasing prominence of the division. They also are active as ArtPower Power Players, and Chris Weil has served on the UC San Diego Foundation Board of Trustees—and is now a lifetime trustee emeritus. The Weils are or have been active in other community organizations, with Pat being involved with the San Diego Repertory Theater and Old Globe Theater, and Chris with San Diego Mainly Mozart, San Diego Grantmakers, and the Jacobs Family Foundation/Jacobs Center for Community Innovation. Both Pat and Chris Weil serve on the board of their family foundation along with their three children.

 

2020

Elaine Galinson

Elaine Galinson
Watch the video

A loyal champion for UC San Diego since 1979, Elaine Galinson has demonstrated a commitment to civil discourse, social justice and the importance of education. In 2019, she pledged $5 million in grants to endow the Galinson/Glickman Campus Civility Program, created in partnership with the National Conflict Resolution Center and to provide for two classrooms. Her involvement on campus spans from a lifetime membership in Chancellor’s Associates; leadership on the UC San Diego Foundation Board of Trustees, including Chair; and contributions to ArtPower and the Stuart Collection. A passionate community leader, she has also served on the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee national board, the San Diego Jewish Community Foundation Board’s executive committee and as past chair of the San Diego Jewish Women’s Foundation. Further, Galinson is San Diego’s former chief of protocol and was honored by the Salvation Army as a woman of distinction.

 
Rebecca Moores

Rebecca Moores
Watch the video

Rebecca “Becky” Moores is an innovative leader, dedicated philanthropist and compassionate friend of UC San Diego. For nearly 25 years, she has made a monumental impact across the university with her support, extending from the eponymous Moores Cancer Center to the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center, Comprehensive Breast Health Center and the Conrad Prebys Music Center, among many other areas. Her vision and leadership have helped propel novel therapies forward, elevate innovative treatments in breast health and provide a cutting-edge environment for researchers and scientists to drive solutions to complex medical challenges. Through her generosity for a variety of UC San Diego Health causes and private support from others, Moores Cancer Center has become a widely recognized National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, uniting cancer-related research laboratories, clinical trials, prevention and outreach programs and patient care under one roof.

 
Herbert and Nicole Wertheim

Herbert and Nicole Wertheim
Watch the video

Herbert and Nicole Wertheim are passionate philanthropists, having supported numerous programs in education, research and the arts in their work directing the Wertheim Family Foundation. In 2018, they pledged $25 million to UC San Diego as a lead gift to establish the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science. This contribution ushered in a new era of public health research, education and advances. The school’s initiatives promote healthier populations on a local, national and global scale because of the university’s increased focus on public health. Dr. Herbert Wertheim is an engineer, optometrist, researcher, entrepreneur, and founder of Brain Power Incorporated, the world's largest manufacturer of ophthalmic instruments and chemicals, whose enduring discoveries and contributions in eye care and other scientific fields have touched millions. Nicole Wertheim is a dedicated patron of arts, community, education and health.

 
Gary and Mary West

Gary and Mary West
Watch the video

Local successful entrepreneurs turned pioneering philanthropists, Gary and Mary West have been loyal UC San Diego supporters for over a decade. The Wests have established West Health, a family of three nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations with a singular mission of lowering healthcare costs to enable seniors to have access to high-quality, affordable health and support services that preserve and protect their dignity, quality of life and independence. They have recently supported the university with a capital grant to create the Gary and Mary West Senior Emergency Care Unit at UC San Diego Health, which opened in 2019. Additional funding from the West Health Institute is being used to conduct multi-year medical research for developing, evaluating and disseminating innovative care approaches for geriatric patients. The couple continues to set the standard for senior emergency care through the Gary and Mary West Emergency Department at UC San Diego Health.

 

2019

Taner Halıcıoğlu

Taner Halıcıoğlu ’96
Watch the video

An accomplished computer scientist, alumnus Taner Halıcıoğlu ’96 has transformed how data science is explored worldwide. Halıcıoğlu graduated from UC San Diego with a computer science degree and went on to be Facebook’s first full-time hire in 2004, where he was instrumental in scaling the hardware infrastructure that enabled the platform’s explosive growth.

In 2017, Halıcıoğlu helped establish the Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute. He is an active lecturer in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and remains an investor in more than forty start-ups in San Diego. He is a member of the UC San Diego Alumni Board of Directors and the UC San Diego Computer Science and Engineering Alumni Advisory Board.

 
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Watch the video

Gordon Moore, cofounder of Intel, and his wife, Betty, established the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation in 2000 to foster path-breaking scientific discovery, environmental conservation, patient care improvements, and preservation of the special character of the Bay Area.

UC San Diego beneficiaries of their foundation grants include the Scripps Institution of Oceanography; the School of Medicine; the Jacobs School of Engineering; and the Divisions of Biological and Physical Sciences Research Communications program, which equips scientists with the tools to communicate their research to lay audiences. The foundation has also generously supported the Qualcomm Institute’s Community Cyberinfrastructure for Advanced Marine Microbial Ecology Research and Analysis (CAMERA), helping researchers advance understanding in microbial genetics, ocean communities, and the global ecosystem.

 
Iris Lynn and Matthew Strauss

Iris Lynn and Matthew Strauss
Watch the video

Iris Lynn and Matthew Strauss have made a significant impact on UC San Diego—and throughout the region—with support in areas including arts, culture, and cancer research. They are UC San Diego Campaign Cabinet members, serve on the UC San Diego Health Sciences Advisory Board, and are cochairs of the development committee. UC San Diego Health, including Moores Cancer Center, has been their recent fundraising focus with gifts to create the Iris and Matthew Strauss Center for Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer and to help fund the development of a cancer vaccine.

Alongside their passion in revolutionizing health innovations, the couple are strong supporters of arts and cultural institutions such as the Jewish Community Foundation, the La Jolla Playhouse, the San Diego Symphony, the Old Globe, and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

 
Andrew J. Viterbi

Andrew J. Viterbi
Watch the video

A world-renowned pioneer in the communications world, Andrew J. Viterbi is credited for transforming the way people connect and communicate through his groundbreaking Viterbi Algorithm. Viterbi spent equal portions of his career in industry, having previously cofounded Linkabit Corporation and Qualcomm, and in academia as an engineering professor—first at UCLA and then at UC San Diego, where he is now professor emeritus. He is currently president of the Viterbi Group, a technical advisory and investment company.

In 2018, Viterbi established the Viterbi Family Vision Research Center and the Viterbi Family Department of Ophthalmology, the first-named Health Sciences department at UC San Diego. Inspired by his father, Achille, an ophthalmologist, Viterbi is dedicated to advancing research, education, and eye care, and has established six new endowed chairs for faculty.

 

2018

Franklin Antonio

Franklin Antonio ’74

UC San Diego alumnus Franklin Antonio is a co-founder of Qualcomm, where he currently serves as chief scientist. He graduated from UC San Diego in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in applied physics and information science. Since graduation, he has led the growth of Qualcomm’s engineering departments, served as project engineer for the company’s satellite communication system, and made transformational technological advances that have touched our lives. He holds 378 granted and pending patents worldwide and has remained a dedicated supporter of his alma mater. Antonio has supported engineering research and education at the Jacobs School of Engineering and the development of the pulsed All-sky Near-infrared Optical SETI (PANOSETI) observatory that is being built by UC San Diego’s Department of Physics. He is a member of the dean’s Council of Advisors and an inaugural member of the Center for Wireless Communications at the Jacobs School of Engineering.

 
Lynn Schenk

Lynn Schenk

The Honorable Lynn Schenk has broken glass ceilings throughout her career, helping to make our region—and UC San Diego—what it is today. From her time as the first woman to represent San Diego in the U.S. House of Representatives to serving as chief of staff to California Governor Gray Davis, she was instrumental in advancing science and innovation across the state. Her efforts helped establish the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and the UC systemwide Gray Davis Institutes for Science and Innovation, known at UC San Diego as the Qualcomm Institute. In honor of her late husband, she also established the C. Hugh Friedman and Lynn Schenk “Dare to Fail” legacy Endowment Fund, which provides young scientists with funding to pursue challenging and uncharted research across the biological sciences.

 
Marilyn H. and James H. Simons

Marilyn H. and James H. Simons

Marilyn H. and James H. Simons, co-founders of the Simons Foundation, one of the nation’s leading private funders of scientific research, have served as generous philanthropists, community leaders and advocates of the advancement of basic science.

James Simons, chair of the Simons Foundation, is an expert mathematician and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. His work on Chern Simons theory had an important effect on a wide range of areas in theoretical physics. Marilyn Simons has served as president of the Simons Foundation since its inception in 1994 and has played an important role in growing the foundation, its programs and its impact around the globe. She is an advocate for science outreach and is involved in K–12 education.

Through the Simons Foundation, Marilyn and James have established the Simons Observatory in Chile, where UC San Diego astrophysicists are leading the effort to better understand the first few moments after the Big Bang. The foundation has also dedicated funding to cutting-edge sciences across campus, including autism research, engineering, mathematical and biological sciences, psychiatry, neuroscience, and the San Diego Supercomputer Center. It has also provided support for graduate students and investigators at UC San Diego.

 
Ratan N. Tata

Ratan N. Tata and the Tata Trusts

Ratan N. Tata is chairman of the Tata Trusts, which are among the largest private philanthropic trusts in India. Tata has devoted his life to transforming society to benefit humankind through the Tata companies and the Tata Trusts. In 2016, the Tata Trusts partnered with UC San Diego to establish the binational Tata Institute for Genetics and Society, a collaboration between the campus and research operations in India. The Tata Institute for Genetics and Society’s mission is to advance global science and technology through socially conscious means to develop solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges, from public health to agriculture.

Through direct implementation, co-partnership strategies and grant-making, the Tata Trusts support and drive innovation in the areas of education; health care and nutrition; rural livelihoods; natural resources management; enhancing civil society and governance; and media, arts, crafts and culture.

 

2016

 
Peter C. Farrell

Peter C. Farrell
Watch the video

Through the company he founded, ResMed, Peter C. Farrell revolutionized the way sleep-related breathing disorders are treated. With his philanthropy to UC San Diego, Farrell established a legacy of invention, improvement and progress. He has contributed to a variety of multidisciplinary programs across campus, supporting the Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center at UC San Diego Health, The Preuss School UCSD, Rady School of Management and the Farrell Fund in cardiology. The Peter C. Farrell Sleep Center of Excellence and Peter C. Farrell Presidential Chair in Pulmonary Medicine were named in Farrell’s honor and in recognition of a gift from ResMed to UC San Diego.

 
Richard and Carol Dean Hertzberg

Richard Hertzberg and Carol Dean Hertzberg
Watch the video

Richard Hertzberg and Carol Dean Hertzberg have shown their generosity and philanthropic vision with nearly two decades of support for UC San Diego. In 2015, the Hertzbergs made a transformative gift to establish the Center for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in order to address the serious problems climate change poses. The couple has also made substantial gifts to areas across campus, including cutting-edge medical research, the Hertzberg Schechter Endowed Prize for Stem Cell Research, the Institute for Genomic Medicine, The Preuss School UCSD and the Chancellor’s Scholars Fund.

 
Marion and Kwan So

Marion and Kwan So
Watch the video

Beginning with their first gift of $7 to UC San Diego in 1975, Marion and Kwan So have forged a strong bond with the campus. They have made a significant impact by supporting undergraduate education, the health sciences, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the School of Global Policy and Strategy. The couple has played a key role in positioning UC San Diego as one of the world’s top universities for research on contemporary China, which culminated in the founding of the 21st Century China Center. They have also established the Ho Miu Lam Fellowship, the Sokwanlok Chair in Chinese International Affairs, and the Ho Miu Lam Chair in China and Pacific Relations.

 
Daniel Yankelovich

Daniel Yankelovich
Watch the video

Renowned social researcher and public opinion analyst Daniel Yankelovich has spent decades monitoring social change and public opinion. Dubbed the “dean of American pollsters,” he is perhaps best known for starting The New York Times/Yankelovich poll (now the CBS News/New York Times poll), and for co-founding the not-for-profit Public Agenda. Yankelovich’s passion for bringing together social science theory and practice for the betterment of society led him to establish the Daniel Yankelovich Chair in Social Thought at UC San Diego and to endow the Yankelovich Center for Social Science Research, a problem-driven research center in the Division of Social Sciences.

 

2015

Carol Vassiliadis

Carol Vassiliadis
Watch the video

Carol Vassiliadis has supported UC San Diego across a spectrum of fields, from medicine to history and the humanities. In honor of her late husband, Alkiviadis or “Laki,” she established the Alkiviadis and Carol Vassiliadis Fellowship for Cancer Prevention, which has given aspiring young scientists the opportunity to pursue cancer cures. She also provided significant funding to support the Healthy Eating and Living Program at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, and Jacobs Medical Center. Vassiliadis has also helped position UC San Diego as the top center for Greek studies in the western United States by establishing the Alkiviadis Vassiliadis Chair in Byzantine Greek History and supporting two other Greek history chairs. She serves as a trustee of the UC San Diego Foundation Board and is a member of the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center Board of Visitors.

 
The Hellman Family

The Family of Chris and Warren Hellman
Watch the video

The late Warren Hellman; his wife, Chris; and their family established one of the first Hellman Fellows Programs at UC San Diego in 1995. The Hellman Fellowship has been a lifeline for scholars as they push the frontiers of knowledge on their path toward tenure and has benefitted more than 280 promising UC San Diego faculty members in disciplines from visual arts to nanoengineering. The successful UC San Diego program is now on all campuses in the UC System and is the only privately funded program established at all ten institutions. The Hellman Fellows Fund is now managed by two of Chris and Warren’s children, Frances Hellman and Mick Hellman.

 
Qualcomm

Qualcomm Incorporated
Watch the video

Founded in 1985 when seven industry veterans came together in the den of then UC San Diego professor Irwin Jacobs’ home, Qualcomm Incorporated has played a pivotal role in UC San Diego’s rise to become one of the top 10 public universities in the nation. For 30 years, Qualcomm has actively supported the educational and philanthropic goals of UC San Diego. The company has invested in areas throughout campus, ranging from the School of Global Policy and Strategy to the Jacobs School of Engineering and Calit2’s Qualcomm Institute. Qualcomm has supported UC San Diego students with graduate fellowships and undergraduate scholarships, and has fueled groundbreaking discoveries with funding for research and faculty chairs.

 

2014

Sue and Steve Hart

Sue and Steve Hart
Watch the video

Alumni Sue and Steve Hart have served UC San Diego as generous philanthropists, advisers to academic leadership and mentors to students. Sue is a member of the Undergraduate Scholarship Council and the UCSD Alumni awards committee. Steve serves on the Jacobs School of Engineering Dean’s Council of Advisors and the company he co-founded—ViaSat, Inc.—gave a $1 million gift to the UC San Diego Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination. The Harts have also been leaders in establishing student scholarships and supporting the Clarion Writers Workshop, a unique forum for speculative literature.

 
T. Denny Sanford

T. Denny Sanford
Watch the video

T. Denny Sanford’s commitment to UC San Diego’s interdisciplinary innovation is accelerating research that will benefit people around the world. His founding gift to the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine enabled collaboration among UC San Diego’s scientists, postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students, and colleagues at the Sanford-Burnham Institute, The Scripps Research Institute, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology. It was followed by a $100 million gift—the second largest in the campus’s history—to establish the UC San Diego Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center. Sanford is also a devoted supporter of The Preuss School UCSD and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

 

2013

Conrad Prebys

Conrad Prebys
Watch the video

Providing the most significant gift in the history of UC San Diego’s music program, Conrad Prebys gave $6 million to build the Conrad Prebys Music Center, which houses a world-class concert hall designed by Cyril Harris, one of the most distinguished acousticians in the world. Without Prebys’s support, the project would not have become a reality. He went on to establish an endowment for the center and graduate student fellowships in music.

 
Molli and Arthur Wagner

Molli and Arthur Wagner
Watch the video

Molli and Arthur Wagner have greatly enhanced the arts at UC San Diego. Arthur’s leadership as founding chair of the campus’s Department of Theatre and Dance helped position the program among the top three in the nation. Together, the Wagners have supported campus theaters, created fellowships, provided the lead gift to the Student Production Fund Endowment and established an endowed chair in acting—the only one of its kind in the country.

 

2012

Bob and Betty Beyster
Watch video 1  |  Watch video 2

Arthur Brody
Watch video 1  |  Watch video 2

Julia Brown
Watch video 1  |  Watch video 2

Peter and Peggy Preuss
Watch video 1  |  Watch video 2

2011

Richard and Rita Atkinson
Watch the video

John and Ann Davies
Watch the video

Sheldon and Susan Engelhorn
Watch the video

Anne Ratner
Watch the video

L.S. and Aline Skaggs
Watch the video

2010

Pauline Foster
Watch the video

Audrey Geisel
Watch the video

Irwin and Joan Jacobs
Watch the video

Jerome and Miriam Katzin
Watch the video

Ernest and Evelyn Rady
Watch the video

2005

Maurice and Charmaine Kaplan

2003

Darlene Shiley

Charles Robins

2002

Malin Burnham

2000

Neil Morgan

Nomination Guidelines

  • The deadline for nominations is Monday, June 21, 2021 by the end of the business day. Check this page for updates regarding 2021 honorees.
  • Chancellor’s Medals may be awarded at the Founders’ Day ceremonies. If the Medal is to be awarded to a couple, the Medal to the couple counts as a single Medal.
  • Nominees must have a connection with the University; however, nominees cannot be a current employee (faculty, staff or administrator). In addition, individuals who are in elected or appointed local, state, or federal positions are not eligible until their term of office / appointment has been completed.
  • Nominators must be associated with UC San Diego. Each nomination must be reviewed by a Vice Chancellor in advance of submission for consideration.
  • The Chancellor’s Medal recipient must be willing to be present at Founders Day celebrations to receive the Medal.
  • The Chancellor will confer with the Executive Vice Chancellor and the Vice Chancellors in determining to whom to award the Chancellor’s Medal. In the deliberations, the Chancellor will seek input about the nominees’ distinguished achievements and service to UC San Diego.
  • The decision of the Chancellor is final. The Chancellor may choose to approve an exception to the preceding Guidelines; however, exceptions will be rare.
A complete nomination will include
  1. A narrative (no longer than two pages) that briefly describes the individual’s distinguished achievements in his/her profession and the exceptional service that has benefitted the University.
  2. A one-page summary resume (optional).
  3. A one-page letter from a secondary nominator in support of the nomination (optional).

How to Submit a Nomination

Submit a nomination by completing the following form: Nomination Form

If you have further questions about your nomination, or the process in general, please phone (858) 534-3135.