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Capital Campaign May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2
   

Alumni Entrepreneurs Have Impact on Local Economy and Beyond

   
     
Surfboard shaper Rusty Preisendorfer, Revelle ’78, is ­internationally known for his contributions to the industry.

UC San Diego is one of the nation’s most accomplished research ­universities, widely acknowledged for its local impact, national ­influence and global reach. With an impressive track record of ­scientific, medical and technological breakthroughs, the ­campus—ranked eighth best ­public university in the U.S.—is also a thriving economic engine fueling our region and beyond.

UC San Diego alumni, numbering more than 120,000, have greatly contributed to at least 200 UCSD spin-off companies, which generate $10.2 billion in annual revenue in California alone. These business leaders, forging paths in a variety of industries, have never forgotten their educational roots and many have invested in the future of their alma mater.

Rusty Preisendorfer, ’78—son of renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography researcher, Rudolph Preisendorfer, Ph.D. ’56—began his journey as a visual arts student at UC San Diego. With ­inspiration from his father and professor Paul Saltman, Preisendorfer set out to combine his passions for the arts and ­surfing. In 1985, he established Rusty Surfboards. Fast-­forward two decades and today, the surfboard shaper’s ­trademark “R” logo is one of the best known in the surf world. The company has global licenses for surfboards and ­apparel. In 2008, Surfing Magazine ­recognized Preisendorfer as “Shaper of the Year” for his work on forward-looking surfboard ­constructions. Close to home, Preisendorfer still maintains his retail surf shops in La Jolla and Del Mar.

Preisendorfer has stayed close to UC San Diego. He and wife, Angela, have supported a wide range of campus areas including the Moores UCSD Cancer Center’s annual Luau and Longboard Invitational, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Triton athletics.

Bob Akins, B.S ’74, M.S. ’77, Ph.D. ’83 (left), and Rick Sandstrom, B.S. ’72, M.S. ’76, Ph.D. ’79, founded Cymer after meeting at UC?San Diego.

For the cofounders of Cymer, Inc., the world’s leading supplier of deep ultraviolet light sources used in semiconductor manufacturing, the ­connection with UC San Diego is very personal. Bob Akins, B.S ’74, M.S. ’77, Ph.D. ’83, and Rick Sandstrom, B.S. ’72, M.S. ’76, Ph.D. ’79, met while ­attending UC San Diego and have since found many ways to give back.

Cymer has funded multiple endowed faculty chairs to help UCSD ­recruit the world’s top ­scientists; endowments to support students in the Jacobs School of Engineering; and most recently, helped launch an ­innovative educational and research program—the Cymer Center for Control Systems and Dynamics. According to Akins, the two give to UC San Diego “for everything it provided to us in ­education, shaping us as adults and assisting with ­launching Cymer. UCSD should be seen by the city and all San Diego residents as a real jewel.”

 

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