The Chancellor’s Medal—one of the highest honors bestowed by UC San Diego—was given in 2014 to one alumni couple, Sue and Steve Hart, and one individual, T. Denny Sanford, in recognition of their outstanding support of the university’s mission. Conceived in 2000, the Chancellor’s Medal recognizes long-standing involvement with the campus and multiple contributions to university life.
Shu Chien and Peter Gourevitch were recipients of the 2014 Revelle Medals, which recognize current and former UC San Diego faculty members for sustained, distinguished, and extraordinary service to the campus. The Revelle Medal, revived by Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla in 2013 after a decade-long hiatus, was created in honor of Roger Revelle, who helped establish UC San Diego during his tenure as director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography from 1950–64.
Alumni Sue and Steve Hart met as graduate students in mathematics at UC San Diego, where Steve received his master’s degree in 1980 and Sue earned her doctorate in 1986. That same year, Steve cofounded ViaSat, Inc., a leading manufacturer of satellite and wireless technology, and has since played an essential role in recruiting UC San Diego graduates to work there. Recently, the company gave a $1 million gift to the UC San Diego Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination. The Harts were the first donors to the Alumni Leadership Scholarship Endowment in the early 2000s, providing the catalyst for more than thirty alumni donors to create scholarship endowments. They also established the Kevin T. Hart Memorial Scholarship in honor of their
Businessweek magazine has listed T. Denny Sanford among its fifty most generous philanthropists. He made his fortune as the owner of First Premier Bank and Premier Bankcard, and is currently chairman and CEO of United National Corp. His $100 million pledge in 2013 to establish the UC San Diego Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center was the second largest gift in the university’s history. Designed to accelerate the movement of stem cell research into human clinical trials and therapies, the center will build on the science that Sanford facilitated with a $30 million gift to the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine in 2008. Sanford also supports The Preuss School UCSD and Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Shu Chien received the National Medal of Science from President Barack Obama in 2011 for his contributions in cardiovascular physiology and bioengineering. A UC San Diego professor of bioengineering and medicine, and director of the UC San Diego Institute of Engineering in Medicine, his studies of how blood flow and pressure affect blood vessels have furthered the development of better diagnostic tests and treatments for atherosclerosis and other diseases. Chien played a crucial role in forming the Department of Bioengineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering, which is ranked number one for biomedical engineering by the National Research Council. He is a member of all three US national institutes: the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.
Distinguished professor emeritus of the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, Peter Gourevitch joined UC San Diego in 1979 and served as department chair of political science from 1980–83. In 1986, he was appointed founding dean of the school. Gourevitch revolutionized the study of international relations and comparative politics by conceptualizing how the international economy shapes domestic politics and vice versa. He was elected in 1995 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and served as coeditor of International Organization, the premier journal in international relations. He also played a key role with fellow UC San Diego professors Cecil Lytle and Bud Mehan in establishing The Preuss School UCSD, recognized by Newsweek as the top transformative high school in the nation.