All Past 

Distinguished Alumni Award

 Recipients

2020 Recipients
BS
 ’
76
 ’
 ’
  ·  
Engineering & Applied Science

For his entrepreneurial leadership and transformative contributions to the development and commercialization of fail-safe embedded safety and security software for high-risk, high-value applications including commercial and military avionics, self-driving cars, and remotely controlled medical equipment.

Certificate
 ’
44
 ’
 ’
  ·  
Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited

For his accomplished career as an investor, businessman, and as an attorney. He is director and vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, chairman of the Daily Journal Corporation, a director of Costco Wholesale Corporation, and former chairman of Wesco Financial Corporation.

MS
 ’
02
PhD
 ’
05
 ’
  ·  
Electrical Engineering

For her leadership in the fields of computer vision, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, as well as her advocacy for diversity and inclusion in AI and STEM fields. Li’s interdisciplinary influence connecting neuroscience and machine learning has made her a leading voice in applications of AI to improve healthcare.

BS
 ’
92
 ’
 ’
  ·  
Mathematics

For his significant contributions to low dimensional topology and geometric group theory, such as proving the virtual Haken conjecture, Marden’s Tameness conjecture, and other theorems that provide an understanding of the coverings of three-dimensional manifolds.

2019 Recipients
MS
 ’
67
PhD
 ’
77
 ’
  ·  
Astronomy

For her contributions to our understanding of how stars and planetary systems form and evolve, her dedication to enhancing observatory capabilities for the scientific community, and her national and international leadership in her field.

PhD
 ’
81
 ’
 ’
  ·  
Biochemistry

For developing a treatment for patients chronically infected with the Hepatitis C virus that is highly effective (99% cure rate) and which has no significant side effects. For this achievement, Charles Rice, along with Ralf Bartenschlager and Michael J. Sofia, received the highly prestigious Lasker Award in Clinical Medicine in 2016.

PhD
 ’
86
 ’
 ’
  ·  
Computer Science

For his significant contributions to the architecture of interconnection networks. He developed much of the technology found in modern interconnection networks including wormhole routing, virtual-channel flow control, global adaptive routing, modern network topology, deadlock analysis, performance analysis, fault-tolerance methods, and equalized high-speed signaling.

PhD
 ’
87
 ’
 ’
  ·  
Chemistry

For her visionary leadership in sustainable energy and engagement with the broader scientific community and for her development of powerful theoretical methods based on quantum mechanics that have greatly influenced chemistry and engineering.

MS
 ’
64
PhD
 ’
68
 ’
  ·  
Physics

For his entrepreneurial leadership in the development and commercialization of high-performance GaAs and GaN semiconductor electronic and optical devices with revolutionary applications in communications and lighting.

2018 Recipients
BS
 ’
53
MS
 ’
54
PhD
 ’
61
  ·  
Physics, Mechanical Engineering, & Engineering Science

For his innovative and revolutionary contributions to advanced internet connectivity and telecommunications. He pioneered the Remote Authentication Dial-in User Service (RADIUS) as an access server authentication and accounting protocol, which was adapted by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standards.

PhD
 ’
70
 ’
 ’
  ·  
Physics

For his discovery of neutrino oscillations and demonstration that neutrinos have mass, both of which have changed our understanding of the building blocks of particle physics and of the cosmos as a whole. In 2015, McDonald was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.

PhD
 ’
73
 ’
 ’
  ·  
Biochemistry

For her contributions to shaping and advancing cooperation between nations on international policy in the areas of nuclear proliferation, human rights, global health, and the environment. 

MS
 ’
60
PhD
 ’
67
 ’
  ·  
Aeronautics

For his seminal contributions to the design and engineering of multi-outer-planet missions, including the Grand Tour, the course set for the epic explorations of the Voyager spacecraft.

BS
 ’
71
 ’
 ’
  ·  
Engineering Science

For his pioneering achievement in the development of computer-generated images (CGI) for use in motion pictures, and in digital film scanning and recording.

2017 Recipients
PhD
 ’
84
 ’
 ’
  ·  
Astronomy

For his contributions to astronomy and his work to enhance the public’s interest in science.

PhD
 ’
93
 ’
 ’
  ·  
Mechanical Engineering

For her sustained record of leadership and innovation in technology and business.

2016 Recipients
PhD
 ’
82
 ’
 ’
  ·  
Chemistry

For her sustained record of innovation and achievement in the area of structural-surface physics. She founded the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at the University of Maryland and was the chief scientist for BP. She now serves as director of the Advanced Research Project Agency–Energy in the U.S. Department of Energy.

BS
 ’
62
 ’
 ’
  ·  
Engineering and Applied Science

For his revolutionary contributions to commerce. Through innovations such as the presorted mail program developed for the U.S. Postal Service and the three-digit security codes on credit cards, Litle has made global business more efficient and secure.

BS
 ’
52
 ’
 ’
  ·  
Mechanical Engineering

For his accomplished career in the electronics industry. Over the course of three decades, Larson held numerous and diverse leadership roles in fields ranging from engineering to marketing. Larson is also being celebrated for his sustained commitment to the research, students, and alumni of Caltech.

PhD
 ’
82
 ’
 ’
  ·  
Physics

For his scientific leadership in the study of gamma-ray bursts as well as for his significant contributions to high-energy astrophysics, infrared astronomy, and instrument development.

MS
 ’
85
 ’
 ’
  ·  
Social Science

For her contributions to quantitative investment and for her leadership in the financial industry. Campagna is the founder of QS Investors, a leading customized solutions and global quantitative equities provider. She is responsible for all business, strategic, and investment decisions within the investment-management firm.

BS
 ’
83
 ’
 ’
  ·  
Physics

For his groundbreaking contributions to microscopy. Betzig pioneered a method known as single-molecule microscopy, or “nanoscopy,” which allows cellular structures at the nanoscale to be observed using an optical microscope, for which he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2014.

2015 Recipients
 ’
 ’
 ’
  ·  

BS
 ’
74
 ’
 ’
  ·  
Biology

For his positive impact on human health, elucidating the dynamic nature of HIV replication in infected persons and forming the foundation for combination antiretroviral therapy, which has led to reductions in AIDS-associated mortality.

BS
 ’
89
 ’
 ’
  ·  
Biology, Chemistry

For her contributions to the development of new radiotherapy-treatment paradigms for cancer of the head, neck, and lungs, and for her leadership in medicine on prominent national panels and as chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Stanford University.

MS
 ’
95
PhD
 ’
96
 ’
  ·  
Mathematics

For his achievements in mathematics, particularly in statistical physics. Smirnov produced the first rigorous proofs of conformal invariance in lattice models, a discovery that has opened new directions in probability theory. 

Recipients Before 2015

Athena Castro ’14
John Hall ’13
Nancy Lan ’13
Arlana Silver ’13
Doug Smith ’12
Harold Cassriel ’11
Amnon Yariv ’11
Elizabeth Allen ’10
Dean Bond ’10
Clinton Dodd ’10
Thomas M. Gutman ’10
Sandra Marbut ’10
Andrew B. Shaindlin ’10

Karen Carlson ’09
Jean-Lou Chameau ’08
Carol  Carmichael ’08
Donald G. Caldwell ’07
Ms. Carol Casey ’07
Kevin Austin ’06
William L. Caton, III ’06
John D. Baldeschwieler ’05
Jane Dietrich ’05
Larry Gilbert ’05
Gaylord Nick Nichols ’04
Edward Stolper ’04
Thomas Tombrello ’04

William Bridges ’03
David Goodstein ’03
Thomas Mannion ’03
William Bing ’02
Delores Bing ’02
Hall Daily ’02
Sharyn Slavin Miller ’02
Suzette Cummings ’01
Warren Emery* ’01
Tom Apostol ’01
Arden Albee ’00
Sue Borrego ’00
Barbara Green ’00

David Baltimore ’99
Alice Huang ’99
Shirley Marneus ’99
Jean-Paul Revel ’99
J. Ernest Nunnally ’98
Doris Everhart ’97
Monica Hubbard ’97
Judith Amis ’96
Thomas Anderson ’96
Edith Roberts* ’96
F. Rosemary Wyllie ’96
William Schaefer ’95
Jack Smith* ’95

Judith Goodstein ’94
Stan Borodinsky ’94
Geraldine Silver ’93
Arrola DuBridge* ’92
Jeanne Noda ’92
Amytis Barrett* ’91
James Knowles* ’91
Carolyn Merkel (Ash) ’91
Robert O'Rourke ’91
Calvin Ames* ’90
David Wales ’90

Janet Davis ’89
Nan Hopkins* ’89
Theodore Hurwitz ’89
John Roberts ’89
Christopher Brennen ’88
Thomas Everhart ’88
Tsutomu Ohshima ’88
Robert Oliver* ’87
Fredrick Shair ’86
David Smith* ’86
Sunney Chan ’85

James Morgan ’84
David Morrisroe* ’84
Ray Owen ’83
J. Kent Clark* ’82
Phyllis Jelinek ’82
Hans Liepmann* ’81
Rodman Paul* ’81
Edward Preisler* ’81
Jesse Greenstein* ’80
Edwin Munger* ’80

Marvin Goldberger ’79
Harry Gray ’79
Bruce Murray ’79
Robert Christy ’78
Robert Gray* ’78
R. Stanton Avery* ’77
Robert Huttenback ’76
Herbert Hahn* ’75
H. Frederic Bohnenblust* ’74
Horace Gilbert* ’74
Bert La Brucherie* ’73

Robert Daugherty* ’73
James B. Black ’72
Harold Brown ’71
Robert Bacher* ’70
Olaf Frodsham* ’70
Edward Hutchings, Jr.* ’69
Wesley Hershey* ’67
Floyd Hanes* ’66
Harold Musselman* ’65
William Lacey* ’65

J.E. Wallace Sterling* ’49
Royal Sorensen* ’48
Lee DuBridge* ’47
George MacMinn* ’47
Robert Millikan* ’47
W. Howard Clapp* ’43
Charles Schweiso* ’32

* deceased