@UCSD: An Alumni Publication

An Alumni Publication   Archive vol1no3 Contact
Up Front: Letters to and from the editor
Shelf Life: Books
Cliff Notes: Student life and sports
Class Notes: Alumni profiles
Looking Back: Thoughts on UCSD
Credits: Staff and Contributors
Interview with the Chancellor Fox
National Honor
Translational Treatment
Where In The World Is...
A Thousand Words
In the Name of the Law
In the Right
Campus Currents
Fingertip Library
UCSD by Design
Breast Tumor Marker
MoMA Mia
Pacific Gyres and Robotic Gliders
Sunshine in a Suitcase
Signs of Genius
HIV, the Alzheimer's Clue
UCSD Medicine in Mozambique
Lightweight Super Bridge

Giving Update May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2


Enhancing Campus Climate and Diversity at UC San Diego

Ana Baíz-Torres grew up in the tiny central California town of Selma, the youngest child of a struggling farming family. Following the advice of her father, who told her that higher education was the only way to escape a future in field labor, Ana overcame many obstacles to earn an undergraduate degree in social science from UC Berkeley. MORE


Inventing the Future

Invent the Future is the fundraising beneficiary of UC San Diego's 50th Anniversary events. Through this student-support campaign, the campus will continue to sustain and educate the leaders of tomorrow—students who will become the next generation of innovators, trained to lead the region and nation in extraordinary achievement.

Campus Community Rallies to Support Students at Recent 5K Nearly 1,500 UC San Diego alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students and friends recently rallied to support Invent the Future: The UC San Diego Student Support Campaign as part of the 15th annual Chancellor's Challenge 5K Run/Walk for Scholars, in fall 2010.

A campus tradition, the Chancellor's Challenge 5K was established in 1996 to raise critical funding for undergraduate scholarships. This year's 5K contributed more than $215,000 toward the $50 million fundraising goal of Invent the Future, which was established to help ensure that students from all social and economic backgrounds have access to a world-class UC San Diego education. Scholarship funding from the lifetime of the Chancellor's Challenge 5K totals an impressive $2.5 million, benefitting 835 promising students at UC San Diego. Yet, additional funding is needed to support ambitious and motivated students.

Leading the challenge was Chancellor Marye Anne Fox, who added $5,000 for every $50,000 raised, and matched new and increased gifts with discretionary funds totaling $50,000, in honor of the University's milestone 50th Anniversary.

"Each year at the Chancellor's Challenge 5K, I am impressed by the campus community's dedication to supporting undergraduate scholarships," said Chancellor Fox. "As we celebrate the University's 50th Anniversary, our sight is set firmly on the next half-century. We must support our students, as they represent our future leaders and innovators."

It's not too late to join the campus community in supporting our students. Visit InventTheFuture.ucsd.edu for more information about the ongoing scholarship and fellowship campaign, and give online.

The Campaign for UCSD: Imagine What's Next

Recent Gifts

The Visionary Sponsors for UC San Diego's 50th Anniversary celebration, which are also helping to support Invent the Future, include Cubic Corporation, Qualcomm and Sempra Energy. Additional sponsors are VOLT, Cymer, Inc., BKM/Steelcase, Classic Party Rentals, Consolidated Electrical Distributors, Inc., Swinerton Builders, Clark Construction, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, Turner Construction Company, USE Credit Union, and Webcor Builders. Media sponsors include Clear Channel Communications, KFMB-TV/ CBS 8 San Diego, San Diego Union-Tribune and Time Warner Cable San Diego.

The renowned Camera Lucida chamber music series is made possible by the generosity of UC San Diego supporter and classical music enthusiast Sam B. Ersan, who established the Sam B. Ersan Chamber Music Fund in 2008 to support the series, as well as chamber music classes and graduate student fellowships. Now, an additional gift of $300,000 from Ersan to the Department of Music will ensure that UC San Diego continues to be a premier site for music performance and education.

As part of the Invent the Future campaign, alumnus Robert Koenigsberger '87, and his wife Dilek, pledged $250,000 to establish the Gramercy Fellowship in Emerging Markets, which will provide support for incoming graduate students focused on the economies of nations in the process of rapid growth and industrialization.

In the May issue of this publication, we regret that a gift was listed incorrectly. Adele and Theodore Shank—both critically acclaimed dramatists as well as distinguished faculty emeriti in the Department of Theatre and Dance at UC San Diego—pledged $200,000 to establish the Adele and Theodore Shank Professional Playwriting Residency Award Fund to support students graduating with a Master of Fine Arts in Playwriting at UC San Diego. Their support is greatly appreciated.

Learn More
For more information on giving to UCSD, please visit www.giving.ucsd.edu, email giving@ucsd.edu or call the Office of Development at 858-534-1610.


Heinrich Vischer, Ph.D. '89

AIn 1986, Heinrich Vischer, Ph.D. '89, traveled from Switzerland to study the sensory systems of electric fish in Walter Heiligenberg's lab at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. There, Vischer earned his Ph.D. and completed his postdoctoral work.

Vischer went on to forge a successful academic career as a neurobiologist focused on neuronal regeneration at the University of Basel in Switzerland. He recently cofounded Vischer Biotech to better treat the malfunction of cellular transport, with application for a variety of diseases.

Some years after completing his postdoc at UCSD, Vischer enjoyed dinner with his esteemed teacher and mentor, Professor Heiligenberg, following a scientific conference in Vienna, Austria. The following day, Heiligenberg boarded an airplane to San Diego. But the plane tragically crashed in Pittsburg with no survivors. "The plane crash came as such a shock," recalls Vischer of the 1994 accident. "Not only was he a wonderful mentor, we had become friends."

To keep his memory alive, Vischer established the Walter F. Heiligenberg Professorship in Neuroethology at UC San Diego. Endowed faculty chairs provide perpetual income to support the chair holders' teaching and research. Recently, Vischer made an additional endowed gift to the Division of Biological Sciences to establish the Heiligenberg Lectures. The inaugural lecture will be held as part of UC San Diego's 50th Anniversary to commemorate the late professor.

You support UC San Diego, despite living in Switzerland. How does UC San Diego impress you?

When I first attended UC San Diego, it was very different from the scientific community in Europe. The faculty was very open, willing to exchange ideas, whereas in Europe, scientists at the time were much more secretive about their work. I also found UC San Diego to be much more diverse. At UC San Diego, I met students from all over the United States and the world.

Why did you establish an endowed faculty chair to honor Professor Heiligenberg?

Professor Heiligenberg was a top scientist and a wonderful person. I was honored to be able to keep Walter's name alive in a way that provides good scientists the opportunity to expand their research. Currently, Stefan Leutgeb, whose research has potential implications for dementia and Alzheimer's disease, is the chair holder.

What do you hope to accomplish with the upcoming Heiligenberg Lectures?

My goal is to bring leading researchers from throughout the U.S. and abroad to UC San Diego to present and discuss their latest findings in neurobiology and neuroethology. I find it very fulfilling to be able to support this type of exchange in honor of Walter.

Favorite place on campus?
Birch Aquarium

Best memory?
Meeting highly qualified scientists from around the world and UC San Diego's relaxing and inspiring environment.

UC San Diego's greatest success, as it turns 50?
In only 50 years, it has grown to become one of the top 10 public universities in the world.