Founders Celebration highlights research and ideals of UC Santa Cruz

Martin Rees
Martin Rees
Gordon and Betty Moore
Gordon and Betty Moore
Gail Michaelis Ow and George Ow Jr.
Gail Michaelis Ow and George Ow Jr.
Shannon M. Brownlee
Shannon Brownlee
Gail Hershatter
Gail Hershatter

UC Santa Cruz's sixth annual Founders Celebration Friday, October 12 will feature a free public lecture by Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal of the United Kingdom, followed by a gala dinner honoring Rees, Gordon and Betty Moore, George and Gail Michaelis-Ow, UCSC alumna Shannon Brownlee, and UCSC distinguished professor Gail Hershatter.

The lecture and dinner are just two in a series of public events in October, celebrating the research, teaching, and ideals of the UC Santa Cruz campus founded 47 years ago.

Rees, a renowned astronomer and cosmologist whose work has touched on some of the greatest questions in physics, will present " A Cosmic Perspective on the 21st Century" beginning at 3 p.m. October 12  in the Music Recital Hall on the UCSC campus.  Rees will offer a thought-provoking talk about the nature of the cosmos and the high stakes we face as we consider our future. He will explore the consequences of scientific discovery, the limits of human understanding, and our role as the first species in 45 million centuries to determine the Earth's fate.

Along with Chancellor George Blumenthal and UCSC professors Sandra Faber and Joel Primack, Rees developed the theory of cold dark matter in 1984. Rees's latest book, his eighth, is From Here to Infinity: A Vision of 21st Century Science.

Foundation Medal
Later that evening at the Founders Celebration gala dinner, Rees will receive the UC Santa Cruz Foundation Medal for his outstanding contributions to research that have helped shape our understanding of the universe.

The dinner at the Cocoanut Grove begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $95 and may be purchased at

Also receiving the Foundation Medal are Gordon and Betty Moore for their leadership in philanthropy and their support for programs, particularly in science and the environment, that create transformative change.

Gordon Moore is a Silicon Valley pioneer as co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957 and later Intel Corp. He is chairman emeritus of Intel's board of directors. He earned his B.S. in chemistry from UC Berkeley and his Ph.D. in chemistry and physics from the California Institute of Technology. He is a longtime philanthropist and founder of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in 2002.

Betty Moore was born in Los Gatos and raised on a fruit ranch. She received her B.A. in journalism from San Jose College (where she met Gordon). She is also founder of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and has a particular interest in nursing and health issues.

The Moore Foundation, one of the top 10 in the United States, has supported UCSC research in adaptive optics, marine microbiology, and the Thirty-Meter Telescope.

Fiat Lux Award
Santa Cruz civic leaders and philanthropists George Ow Jr. and Gail Michaelis-Ow will receive the Fiat Lux Award for their long-term commitment to and involvement in the community, and their generous giving to scholarships and the arts.

George Ow is a native Santa Cruzan, businessman and publisher who spent his early years in the former Chinatown on the banks of the San Lorenzo River. He received his M.B.A from UCLA and has established many of Santa Cruz County’s landmark developments and businesses.

Gail Michaelis-Ow came to Santa Cruz in 1970 to attend UCSC.  She is a nurse practitioner at Planned Parenthood and also served on the UC Foundation and Shakespeare Santa Cruz boards. 

Together, the Ows have funded many scholarships and supported cultural events in the community, and have been major sponsors of Shakespeare Santa Cruz.

Alumni Achievement Award
Shannon M. Brownlee (College Eight, 1979, biology, 1983 M.S. marine sciences) is winner of the UCSC Alumni Association Achievement Award. Brownlee is a writer and essayist whose groundbreaking work on health-care issues has appeared in major newspapers and magazines across the country.  Her book, Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer (Bloomsbury, 2007), was a semi-finalist for the National Book Award. Her current research focuses on health-care costs and delivery system reform.

Brownlee is acting director of the New America Health Policy Program at the non-partisan think tank New America Foundation, and an instructor at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.

Faculty Research Lecture
Distinguished professor of history Gail Hershatter will be honored for her pioneering field research and oral history among Chinese women, and her major contributions to the history of women, labor, and sexuality. Hershatter was selected by her peers in the Academic Senate to deliver the Faculty Research Lecture, one of the highest honors a professor can receive.

Hershatter received her B.A. from Hampshire College. She pursued her interest in East Asian Studies at Princeton University, spent a year at Nankin University in Tianjin, China, and obtained her M.A. and Ph.D. in history from Stanford University. She taught for nine years at Williams College, joining the UCSC faculty as a full professor in 1991.

The Faculty Research Lecture will take place February 12, 2013.

12th Annual Sidhartha Maitra Memorial Lecture
Professor Sandra Faber will present "Modern Genesis and the Limits of Cosmic Knowledge" on Wednesday, October 3 at 7 p.m. at the UCSC Music Recital Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Faber will distill a century of cosmic discoveries to synthesize the modern story of Genesis, and speculate beyond that on the boundaries of the knowable in the cosmic past and future.

Research Review Day
Research Review Day 2012 will highlight some of the groundbreaking research being pursued at UCSC's Baskin School of Engineering. The program is divided into three focus areas -- Big Data, BioMed Metrology and Human-Centered Robotics and Computing.

Research Review Day will take place Thursday, October 18 from 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. at the Baskin School of Engineering.

The 2012 UCSC Founders Day Gala Dinner will be held at the Cocoanut Grove at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, 400 Beach St. Santa Cruz. A reception will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:30. Black tie optional. The public is welcome. For tickets or more information, contact the UCSC Special Events Office at, or call (831) 459-5003.