November Greetings from the Associates President
As the new Caltech Associates president, I think it is time to let you in on a little secret: I am not what you call a science guy.
I studied economics in college and pursued a career in business. My late wife, Janet, and I have proudly witnessed our two daughters pursue their passions in non-scientific careers.
Yet, when my father-in-law, William "Bill" Gimbel, invited Janet and me to join the Associates in the 1990s we were intrigued. And why wouldn't we be? Belonging to the Associates is a backstage pass to witnessing how seemingly farfetched ideas become tomorrow's new medical treatments and innovative technologies. And all of this important work is being done near our doorstep.
On a personal note, when Bill was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, his friends and family turned this devastating news into possibility. We rallied to provide Caltech with resources so that scientists could pursue neuroscience research. It is incredibly gratifying to not only provide financial support but to meet the people whose fundamental research may help others live longer, healthier lives. That is why it will be a true honor to introduce Viviana Gradinaru (BS '05), professor of neuroscience and biological engineering at Caltech, at the November 13 Associates gathering. Her exploration of the human brain may unlock solutions for neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's. You can register for this event today.
Caltech and the Associates are true gems. As president, I endeavor to share my reasons for belonging to the Associates with nonmembers and encourage them to join this warm, tight-knit community. Naturally, I am not the only person who is passionate about this goal. I was delighted to participate in the Associates' membership committee meeting in October and witness the enthusiasm my fellow board members have for attracting new people in every region—Pasadena, Greater Los Angeles, Orange County, Northern California, and New York. It was heartening to learn about their enthusiasm and drive. I am grateful to membership committee co-chairs Chip Fairchild and Peter Clark (MS '61, PhD '64) and their dedication to making guests feel welcomed and engaged.
We each have our own story about what compelled us to join the Associates. I hope you can share your story with friends and family and invite them to Associates luncheons and dinners. There is an opportunity to do so before the end of the year. Consider registering for the holiday luncheon on December 5 to view the beautifully decorated Athenaeum and listen to Kenneth Libbrecht (BS '80), Caltech professor of physics, discuss the science of snowflakes.
—Stephen E. Rogers, Caltech Associates Board President