2013 Medalists

UC San Diego selected one couple, Arthur and Molli Wagner, and one individual, Conrad Prebys, to receive Chancellor’s Medals in 2013 in recognition of their outstanding support of the university’s mission. Conceived in 2000, the medal is one of the highest honors bestowed by UC San Diego for long-standing involvement with the campus and multiple contributions to university life.

The Revelle Medal, revived by Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla in 2013 after a decade-long hiatus, was awarded to Walter Munk. The medal recognizes current and former UC San Diego faculty members for sustained, distinguished, and extraordinary service to the campus. It 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.

Conrad Prebys

Conrad Prebys

For over a decade, the leadership and generous support of philanthropist Conrad Prebys has made a huge difference in the San Diego community. For the past forty years, he had a successful career as a real estate developer and property manager in San Diego, with a focus on affordable housing.

Prebys provided the most significant gifts in the history of UC San Diego’s music program, giving $6 million to build the Conrad Prebys Music Center, which houses a world-class concert hall designed by one of the most distinguished acousticians in the world. Prebys subsequently established a $3 million endowment for graduate student fellowships and to maintain the concert hall’s infrastructure. He has also given to UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center and The Preuss School UCSD. Community organizations that have benefited from his generosity include the San Diego Zoo, Scripps Health, and the Old Globe Theatre.

Arthur and Molli Wagner

Arthur and Molli Wagner

Arthur and Molli Wagner arrived at UC San Diego in 1972, when Arthur was appointed founding chair of the drama department, now the Department of Theatre and Dance—and recognized as one of the top three in the country. He also played a large role in shaping the educational theatre system in the United States.

The Wagners have provided funding for the Molli and Arthur Wagner Dance Building, Arthur Wagner Theatre, Wagner Endowed Graduate Acting Fellowship, and Arthur and Molli Wagner Endowed Chair in Acting—the only one of its kind in the nation. They also provided the lead gift for the Student Production Fund Endowment and serve as cochairs of the endowment, which aims to provide continued funding for student productions, despite state budget cuts. In recognition of the Wagners’ generosity, the campus renamed the Wagner New Play Festival in their honor.

Walter Munk

Walter Munk

Oceanographer Walter Munk, a long-standing University of California icon, is now the recipient of an award named for another iconic campus leader—Roger Revelle. Commonly referred to as the “greatest living oceanographer,” Munk is widely recognized for his groundbreaking investigations of wave propagation, tides, currents, circulation, and other aspects of the ocean and Earth. The ninety-five-year-old scientist, who is still active at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, won the National Medal of Science and the Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences, and was named the inaugural recipient of the Prince Albert I Medal in the physical sciences of the oceans.

Munk became a professor of geophysics in 1954 and was named a member of the University of California's Institute of Geophysics. In 1960, he established a branch of the institute at Scripps in La Jolla, serving as director of the Scripps division until 1982.