The Revelle Medal

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Professor Veerabhadran Ramanathan receives the Revelle Medal.

The Revelle Medal is the highest honor given by the Chancellor to a retired or emeriti UC San Diego faculty member.

The Revelle Medal recognizes sustained, distinguished and extraordinary service to the campus. The recipient’s achievements are illustrative of UC San Diego founder Roger Revelle’s vision to attract distinctive and visionary faculty leaders. The Medal honors a record of accomplishment that advances UC San Diego in fulfillment of the campus mission of exceptional teaching, research, service and patient care.

Conceived in 1981 by Chancellor Richard C. Atkinson, the Revelle Medal was first awarded at the Atkinson inauguration. The medal had previously honored distinguished and sustained service to the campus but had excluded faculty or staff.

Recipients of the Revelle Medal are selected annually by a committee of previous honorees and recommended to the chancellor. The selection committee serves a rotating three-year term. 

The 2021-2024 Revelle Medal Selection Committee

  • Katja Lindenberg (2020 Honoree)
  • Cecil W. Lytle (2015 Honoree)
  • Hugh “Bud” Mehan (2015 Honoree)
  • Palmer Taylor (2016 Honoree)

Nomination Guidelines     Nominate Now

Past Revelle Medal Recipients

2021

Richard “Dick” Attiyeh

Richard “Dick” Attiyeh

Dick Attiyeh’s service to the university began when he first joined the fledgling Department of Economics as a faculty member in 1967, helping to build the department into the powerhouse it is today. Since then, his service has extended for more than five decades, most notably as vice chancellor for Research and dean of Graduate Studies from the 1980s to the mid-2000’s. During his administrative tenure, a remarkable 23 new graduate programs were established across the campus and he was instrumental in the establishment of several professional schools. A champion of graduate students, Attiyeh also served on UC-wide committees that led to major improvements in how students were funded. Following retirement in 2006, he has continued to serve as a leader in emeriti associations, both on campus and system-wide. Attiyeh focused his own research work in macroeconomics and the economics of education, demonstrating the efficacy of self-paced learning when it’s properly designed.

 
Wayne A. Cornelius

Wayne A. Cornelius

A world-renowned expert on immigration policy and Mexican studies, Wayne A. Cornelius was the founding director of two internationally respected, interdisciplinary research centers: the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies and the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, which helped to put UC San Diego on the global map in both fields. He authored, co-authored or edited over 300 publications and is a frequent contributor to national and international news media. He advised presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden on immigration issues. Cornelius did field research with his students annually from 1976 through 2015 and served as founding director of UC San Diego’s nationally recognized Mexican Migration Field Research and Training Program. In 2012, Mexican President Felipe Calderón awarded him the Order of the Aztec Eagle, Mexico’s highest decoration for foreign citizens. He also received the Latin American Studies Association’s Kalman Silvert Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the University of California’s systemwide Constantine Panunzio Award for distinguished post-retirement service.

 
Peter F. Cowhey

Peter F. Cowhey

An expert on the future of communications and information technology markets and policy, Peter Cowhey joined the faculty of UC San Diego in 1976 and went on to serve as dean of the School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) for nearly two decades. Under his tenure, the school has expanded its influence to become one of the top professional schools of international relations and public policy and shapes cutting-edge solutions for a transforming world. Beyond the classroom, for the last five decades he has held multiple UC San Diego senior leadership positions including interim executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and director of the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation. Cowhey also has worked for two White House administrations where he helped shape the country’s international telecommunications and technology landscape, and has held many leadership positions in the nonprofit world including the Aspen Institute, California Council on Science and Technology, Grameen Foundation USA, La Jolla Playhouse and more.

 
Barbara A. Parker, MD

Barbara A. Parker, MD

Nationally recognized for extraordinary compassion, Barbara A. Parker, MD, is a board-certified medical oncologist at UC San Diego Health and professor emerita in the Department of Medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine. Starting her career as a resident and fellow at UC San Diego, she went on to serve as medical director of oncology services and senior deputy director of Cancer Medicine at Moores Cancer Center, the region’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. Parker’s research interests are in personalized and targeted therapies for breast tumors. She has received multiple honors, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Cancer Society. Parker’s legacy is marked by her mentorship and collaboration with countless colleagues across UC San Diego Health, and by the gratitude of the more than 20,000 patients she has cared for.

 
Robert Sullivan

Robert Sullivan

As the founding dean of the Rady School of Management, Robert Sullivan’s leadership, passion and vision were instrumental in building the school’s philanthropic foundation and its reputation for excellence, innovation and economic impact. During his time as dean, he led the recruitment of world-class faculty who were consistently recognized for being among the best in the world as scholars and as educators. Upon arrival to UC San Diego, he quickly launched innovation-centric MBA programs for full-time students and working professionals as well as one-year specialized masters programs in the areas of finance, business analytics and accounting. Under his leadership, the school grew to nearly 40 ladder track faculty and nearly 750 masters students in residence. Since the school’s founding, Rady School students and alumni have raised more than $2 billion in capital and started more than 180 operational companies, including six companies which have completed initial public offerings (IPOs). Sullivan also secured nearly a quarter of a billion dollars of philanthropic investments for the school.

 

2020

Rae Armantrout

Rae Armantrout
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A faculty member at UC San Diego for over three decades, Rae Armantrout has emerged as one of the most recognizable voices in American poetry. She was a 2008 Guggenheim Fellow and recipient of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for her 10th book of poems, “Versed,” which was also awarded the 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award. Most recently, her book “Wobble” was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award in Poetry. She is widely recognized for her role as a founding figure in the first generation of Language Poets, an innovative group in the United States often credited with bringing the post-modern to poetry. In addition to her service to the university as a professor of literature and writing, she was instrumental in developing UC San Diego’s MFA in writing program where she is currently a member of the Emeriti Writing Faculty.

 
Ruth Covell

Ruth Covell
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A devoted educator, scholar and administrator, Dr. Ruth Covell joined the university in 1969 as UC San Diego School of Medicine welcomed its first class of students. She has had a longstanding career on campus, retiring as associate dean of UC San Diego School of Medicine in 2013. Her accomplishments include spearheading the establishment of the Academic Geriatric Resource Center and mentoring undergraduates within the UC San Diego Emeriti Mentor Program. In 2016, she was honored with the Edward A. Dickson Award for her commitment to serving students, promoting faculty development and supporting the community. She helped establish the board of San Ysidro Health Centers and currently serves on the board of the Epilepsy Foundation, San Diego Border Area Health Education Center, Project Concern International, Mental Health America, Women’s Empowerment, La Jolla Historical Society and the National Center of Leadership in Academic Medicine program.

 
Katja Lindenberg

Katja Lindenberg
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Katja Lindenberg has a 50-year history on campus. Originally from Ecuador, she moved to the U.S. for higher education. After completing her Ph.D. (Cornell) and postdoc (Rochester) in physics, she joined UC San Diego in 1969. A founding faculty member of what is now Thurgood Marshall College, she rose through the ranks to serve as Chancellor's Associates Endowed Chair in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She also served on the UC’s Quinquennial Review Committee on Latino Research, the Task Force on founding of UC Merced and the Search Committee for the UC San Diego Chancellor (2011-12). An esteemed educator, she received the 2005 Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award and the UC Oliver Johnson Award. She retired in 2019, leaving a legacy that includes more than 400 publications and advocacy for raising the status of women and underrepresented minorities on campus, further demonstrating her extraordinary leadership.

 
Richard Madsen

Richard Madsen
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Richard Madsen is a highly respected scholar and public intellectual who first joined the UC San Diego community in 1978. A distinguished professor of sociology, serving now as the director of the Fudan-UC Center on Contemporary China, he is credited with both being a modern-day founder of the study of Chinese religion and with helping to revive the academic discipline of sociology in China. At UC San Diego he has served as chair of the Department of Sociology, interim provost for Eleanor Roosevelt College and as part of the steering committee to establish what is now the School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS). Madsen has authored 13 books on Chinese culture, United States society, U.S.-China relations and international relations; his 1995 book “Habits of the Heart” won the Los Angeles Times Book Award and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

 
Kirk Peterson

Kirk Peterson
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Throughout his 50 years of service to the institution, Kirk L. Peterson, M.D., has played an integral role in UC San Diego School of Medicine’s growth and its strides in cardiovascular research and clinical health care. As former director of the Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center, Peterson’s leadership and academic contributions have helped guide rising health professionals in their careers. His accomplishments include creating a first-class training program in cardiovascular medicine and authoring over 100 original articles as well as 50 review articles and book chapters. The Professor of Medicine Emeritus has held the Edith and William Perlman Chair of Clinical Cardiology for over 25 years, served as director of the Seaweed Canyon Cardiovascular Physiology Laboratory for 15 years and sat on the Journal of the American College of Cardiology editorial board. Further, he has served as a cardiology consultant for the Naval Regional Medical Center and the VA San Diego Healthcare System.

 

2019

Marjorie C. Caserio

Marjorie C. Caserio
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Marjorie C. Caserio is a London-born scientist and educator who joined UC San Diego in 1990, having previously served as founding member of the UC Irvine faculty and chair of the Department of Chemistry. At UC San Diego, Caserio was vice chancellor of Academic Affairs and interim chancellor. She also headed efforts to establish an undergraduate major in connection with UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography, a new major in women’s studies, a new doctorate program in mathematics/science education, and the Department of Ethnic Studies.

Caserio authored four textbooks in her field, including Basic Principles of Organic Chemistry, which was the most widely used undergraduate organic chemistry textbook in the nation during the 1960s and 1970s. She remains an active participant in the Emeriti Mentor Program and has received the American Chemical Society’s Service Through Chemistry award and Francis P. Garvan–John M. Olin Medal.

 
Ann L. Craig

Ann L. Craig
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Ann L. Craig received her doctorate in comparative politics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and joined the UC San Diego Department of Political Science faculty in 1979. Craig’s research and publications have focused on social movements and public policy in Mexico. At UC San Diego, she served as provost of Eleanor Roosevelt College and was instrumental in integrating global education and service within the campus.

Following her retirement, Craig continued to contribute as interim provost at Revelle and Sixth Colleges, president of the Emeriti Association, chair of the Academic Senate Committee on International Education, and member of the University Committee on International Education. Craig is also active in the Emeriti Mentor Program and has been honored with a Dickson Award for service to students, faculty development, the emeriti, and the community.

 
Lawrence B. Krause

Lawrence B. Krause
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Lawrence B. Krause earned a doctorate in economics from Harvard University and was a founding faculty member of UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy (formerly the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies) in 1986. A professor emeritus, he is one of the world’s top authorities on trade and economic issues in the Pacific region and has authored a variety of publications on the topic. Krause served as a senior member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers in the Johnson administration and has received numerous awards and honors throughout his career.

Krause is currently director emeritus of the School of Global Policy and Strategy’s Korea-Pacific Program, which he founded in 1989 to promote greater understanding of contemporary North and South Korea, including their international relations, politics, public policies, and business environments. In addition, he oversaw the annual Pacific Economic Outlook, an economic forecasting project on the Pacific region.

 
Joseph W. Watson

Joseph W. Watson
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Joseph W. Watson began his career on campus as an assistant professor of chemistry in 1966 and dedicated forty-one years of service to UC San Diego. He was named the first provost of Third College in 1970 and was appointed vice chancellor for Student Affairs in 1981.

Watson’s advocacy for the success of UC San Diego students was highlighted through his guidance of such transformative initiatives as the Career and Student Services Centers, the Undergraduate Research and Opportunities Abroad Programs, TritonLink, RIMAC and the North Campus Recreation Area, Price Center, and the transition from Division III to Division II athletics. Further, as a proponent of diversity and inclusion, Watson worked diligently to increase housing for transfer students and financial aid and scholarship support for low- and middle-income students.

 

2018

Robert W. Conn

Robert W. Conn
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Robert W. Conn is credited with guiding the Jacobs School of Engineering through a transformative period of growth and recognition as its dean, positioning the school to reach and maintain the high ranking it has today. When Conn first joined the Jacobs School of Engineering in 1994, he understood that the school needed to serve as a conduit between research discoveries and the companies that could deploy them for the common good. As a result, he established the Corporate Affiliates Program on campus, as well as the William J. von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism and Technology Advancement.

Since his retirement from UC San Diego, Conn has remained a formidable force at the nexus of research and philanthropy and currently serves as president and CEO of the Kavli Foundation.

 
Marye Anne Fox

Marye Anne Fox
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Marye Anne Fox, the seventh chancellor of UC San Diego and the first woman to be appointed as permanent chancellor, led the campus during a historic era of extraordinary growth and unprecedented financial challenges. Under her leadership, UC San Diego successfully completed a $1 billion capital campaign and celebrated its 50th anniversary, campus climate was improved, and campus programs and resources expanded at a record-setting pace to accommodate increasing numbers of students and a $1 billion research enterprise.

A world-renowned chemist, Fox is also a Distinguished Professor Emerita of chemistry at UC San Diego. She is one of the nation’s most creative physical organic chemists, having published extensively in organic photochemistry and electrochemistry. Her work has application in materials science, solar energy conversion and environmental chemistry.

 
Sanford Lakoff

Sanford Lakoff
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In 1974, Sanford “Sandy” Lakoff joined UC San Diego as a professor and founding chair of the Department of Political Science. Under his leadership, the department quickly established high-quality undergraduate and graduate degree programs. He recruited talented faculty members who helped him lead the department’s impressive rise to become one of the best political science departments in the nation. Lakoff’s contributions laid the groundwork for the establishment of the School of Global Policy and Strategy (formerly the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies).

Throughout his years on campus, Lakoff also played a key role in establishing UC San Diego’s presence in the San Diego community, for which he was recognized with a Chancellor’s Associates’ Faculty Excellence Award for Excellence in Community Service.

 
John B. West

John B. West
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John B. West, a Distinguished Professor of medicine and physiology at UC San Diego, is one of the world’s most noted physiologists, recognized for his work in respiratory physiology. His long interest in high-altitude medicine and physiology culminated in him leading the 1981 American Medical Research Expedition to Everest, during which five people reached the summit of Mount Everest and the first physiological measurements on the summit were made.

West joined the UC San Diego School of Medicine faculty in 1969 and continues to be an active faculty member. His book Respiratory Physiology: The Essentials has been translated into 15 languages and is used around the world.

 

2017

Paul W. Drake

Paul W. Drake
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Paul Drake is a distinguished professor emeritus in political science and a widely respected leader and scholar. Under his deanship of the Division of Social Sciences, many of its departments flourished into leading national academic programs. As senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, he worked with faculty and staff to steer UC San Diego through unprecedented fiscal challenges while maintaining its excellence in research and teaching. Drake was a leader in fostering diversity campuswide, and he is a founder of The Preuss School UCSD, a nationally acclaimed charter school.

 
Marilyn Farquhar

Marilyn Farquhar
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Marilyn Farquhar, distinguished professor emerita of cellular and molecular medicine, entered the field of science when female graduate students were rare. Today, her discoveries are part of the canon of cell biology. She joined UC San Diego in 1990 and served as the school’s first chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. She helped build the UC San Diego School of Medicine to become a top-ranked, national program. Farquhar is a founding member and former president of The American Society for Cell Biology. Her dedication to teaching and mentorship has made a powerful impact on the physicians and medical scientists of tomorrow.

 
Don Helinski

Don Helinski
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Professor Emeritus Don Helinski dedicated more than a half century to furthering UC San Diego’s mission and goals as chair of the Department of Biology and associate dean of the Division of Natural Sciences. Since retiring, he has remained involved on campus, supporting and mentoring students through the UC San Diego Emeriti Association. Helinski is widely recognized as one of the pioneers of recombinant DNA technology. His fundamental discoveries in the biology of bacterial plasmids and in the early applications of cloning technology laid the foundation for early successes in genetic engineering and biotechnology. Helinski is a Guggenheim Fellow and an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences.

 

2016

Bert Fung

Y. C. “Bert” Fung
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Widely considered one of the most eminent bioengineering scientists in the world, Y. C. “Bert” Fung was recruited by UC San Diego to establish the bioengineering program in 1966. Fung created the new field of biomechanics, an interdisciplinary field in which engineering principles and techniques are used to solve important biomedical problems. Decades ago, Fung had the foresight to recognize the vast potential contributions that engineering could have on medicine at a time when the two fields were entirely separated. Today, in large part due to his groundbreaking ideas, the barriers between engineering and medicine have disappeared, creating myriad innovations to benefit patients.

 
Veerabhadran Ramanthan

Veerabhadran Ramanathan
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Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a world-renowned climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, discovered the greenhouse effect of chlorofluorocarbons and showed these superpollutants to be 10,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide in warming the climate. Ramanathan then showed that curbing emissions of the short-lived climate superpollutants, black carbon, methane and hydrofluorocarbons, can cut warming by as much as 50 percent within decades. His research has led to major policy actions by President Obama, the United Nations and Governor Jerry Brown. Ramanathan is now engaging religious leaders such as Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama to educate Earth’s citizens to be good stewards of our planet.

 
Roger Reynolds

Roger Reynolds
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Composer Roger Reynolds joined UC San Diego’s music faculty in 1969 and has since mentored generations of young composers and won a Pulitzer Prize. He remains a leader in exploring ways to harness new technologies for musical purposes. His work blends elements of theatre, literature, dance, video, digital signal processing and real-time computer spatialization. Reynolds’ music has been commissioned, performed, written about and recorded around the world at venues including the Royal Albert Hall in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Suntory Hall in Tokyo and Lincoln Center in New York. Reynolds was appointed University Professor in 2009, becoming the first artist to be honored with that UC-wide title.

 
Palmer Taylor

Palmer Taylor
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Palmer Taylor founded the Department of Pharmacology in the School of Medicine, and the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. He has played an instrumental role in recruiting top faculty, establishing the first basic science department in the School of Medicine, developing doctoral training in pharmacology, and providing mentorship to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. As founding dean of the Skaggs School, he helped build the professional school to national and international prominence. Taylor’s research and interdisciplinary collaborations have accelerated drug discovery and benefited society—from developing novel antidotes to poisoning from pesticide exposure, to finding avenues for improved pharmacological treatments for central nervous system disorders associated with dementia and aging.

 

2015

Susan Shirk

Susan Shirk
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Susan Shirk is considered one of the most influential experts on Chinese politics and U.S.-China relations. She is founding chair of UC San Diego’s 21st Century China Program, the nation’s largest and most prominent academic research program on contemporary China, and helped create UC San Diego’s renowned School of Global Policy and Strategy and the top-ranked Department of Political Science. Shirk has also directed the University of California systemwide Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation and served as deputy assistant secretary of state (1997–2000) responsible for U.S. policy toward China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mongolia.

 
Bud Mehan

Hugh “Bud” Mehan
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Hugh “Bud” Mehan has applied his research in sociology and education studies to make major contributions to educational reform in San Diego, helping countless students from around the county become better equipped to succeed in college. Mehan was the founding director of UC San Diego’s Teacher Education Program (now the Department of Education Studies) and the Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment and Teaching Excellence (CREATE), which coordinates efforts at UC San Diego to improve the academic preparation of underrepresented students in the community through partnerships with K-12 schools and districts. He also played an integral role in the establishment of The Preuss School UCSD and Gompers Preparatory Academy.

 
Cecil Lytle

Cecil W. Lytle
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Cecil Lytle is a world-renowned classical and jazz pianist, former professor and chair of the UC San Diego Department of Music, and former provost of UC San Diego’s Thurgood Marshall College. Lytle has dedicated his life and work to providing educational opportunities for aspiring youth. He co-founded The Preuss School UCSD and played a key role working with parents, teachers and the community to establish Gompers Preparatory Academy, located in the Chollas View neighborhood of San Diego. He also established and raises funds for the Lytle Endowed Scholarship, which supports Preuss graduates who attend Thurgood Marshall College.

 

2014

Shu Chien

Shu Chien
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National Medal of Sciences recipient Shu Chien is a world leader in the study of how blood flow and pressure affect blood vessels. He is one of only a handful of scholars who are members of all three U.S. national institutes: the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine. Chien played a crucial role in forming the Jacobs School of Engineering Department of Bioengineering, and as director of the UC San Diego Institute of Engineering and Medicine, he has strengthened collaborations between all departments of the Jacobs School, the School of Medicine and the Skaggs School of Pharmacy.

 
Peter Gourevitch

Peter Gourevitch
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Regarded as one of the most highly respected political scientists in the world, Peter Gourevitch has revolutionized the study of international relations and comparative politics by conceptualizing how the international economy shapes domestic politics and vice versa. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received distinguished fellowships and numerous awards for his research. As founding dean of the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, Gourevitch lifted UC San Diego to the top echelons of social science research and teaching. He also played a key role in establishing The Preuss School UCSD.

 

2013

Walter Munk

Walter Munk
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Referred to as the “greatest living oceanographer,” Walter Munk is widely recognized for his groundbreaking investigations of wave propagation, tides, currents, circulation and other aspects of the ocean and Earth. The 95-year-old scientist and alumnus is still active at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. His accomplishments have been recognized by prestigious organizations around the world, from the Kyoto Prize to the Crafoord Prize.

 

2003

Robert C. Dynes (by exception)

1998

Irwin and Joan Jacobs

Herbert Kunzel

1996

Jerome Katzin

Ellen Revelle

1995

Richard C. Atkinson (by exception)

Audrey Geisel

1993

James S. DeSilva

James U. Lemke

1991

Mandell Weiss

1988

Cecil H. Green

1986

Kenneth and Dorothy Hill

1985

Clark Kerr

1981

DeWitt A. Higgs

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.

Nominee must be a retired or emeriti UC San Diego faculty member.

Nominators must be associated with UC San Diego. Each nomination must be reviewed by the relevant senior academic officer (Executive Vice Chancellor – Academic Affairs, the Vice Chancellor – Health Sciences, or Vice Chancellor – Marine Sciences) in advance of submission for consideration. The Chancellor will issue a call for nominations and will encourage the Academic Senate to nominate faculty for the Revelle Medal. In making the selection, the Chancellor will confer with the campus academic leadership and the Chair and Vice Chair of the Academic Senate.

The Revelle Medal recipient must be willing to be present at the Founders Day celebration to receive the Medal.

The decision of the Chancellor is final. The Chancellor may choose to approve an exception to the preceding guidelines, including the possibility of awarding more than one Medal at the Founders Day celebration; however, exceptions will be rare.

A complete nomination will include:
  1. A narrative (no longer than two pages) that describes the individual’s sustained, distinguished and extraordinary service to the campus. Brief description of how the faculty member’s achievements are illustrative of Roger Revelle’s vision for UC San Diego.
  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.