The United States Secretary of Energy and Nobel laureate is being recognized for his ground-breaking contributions to the fields of biophysics and atomic physics, commitment to addressing climate change, and transformative leadership in energy research and policy. Steven Chu and other distinguished alumni award recipients will be honored at Charter Gala, a benefit for the Cal Alumni Association, on April 9, 2011 from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. at San Francisco City Hall.
“It is a distinct honor to pay tribute to Dr. Chu by awarding him with the Cal Alumni Association’s highest honor,” said CAA President Alan C. Mendelson ’69. “He will be joining the ranks of Cal’s most accomplished alumni.” Recent past awardees include Richard N. Goldman ’41; Robert D. Haas ’64; Thelton E. Henderson ’55, J.D. ’62; Alice Waters ’67; Donald G. Fisher ’50; and Warren Hellman ’55.
A distinguished scientist and global leader, Dr. Chu has gained renown as the nation’s foremost voice in advocating for scientific solutions to the issues of global climate change and the urgent need for carbon-neutral renewable energy sources. As United States Secretary of Energy, Dr. Chu is charged with implementing President Obama’s ambitious agenda to invest in clean energy, help reduce our reliance on foreign oil, address global climate crisis, and create millions of jobs.
University of California, Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, who has known Dr. Chu for three decades since the two men worked at Bell Laboratories in the 1970s, said “Steve Chu has been relentless about addressing the technical challenges of renewable energy in a deep way. We will now have an energy policy than can mean the U.S. will have a chance at obtaining energy self-sufficiency through new technology.”
Dr. Chu earned undergraduate degrees in mathematics and physics from the University of Rochester then went on to earn a Ph.D. in physics from UC Berkeley. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Chu was the director of the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he led the lab in pursuit of alternative energy technologies. He also taught at UC Berkeley as a professor of physics and professor of molecular and cell biology where he held the Philomathia Foundation Distinguished Chair in Alternative Energy. In addition, Dr. Chu has held positions at Stanford University and AT&T Bell Laboratories.
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