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Seal of UC San Diego UC San Diego 60th Anniversary

60 years of creating
better tomorrows

Six decades ago, a group of like-minded changemakers pioneered a school free from the constraints of tradition and expectation. Their unprecedented vision for higher education proliferated a new way of thinking and pushed daring intellectuals to venture outside the accepted norms. Today, we honor their founding philosophy and those who carry on the nontradition.


Irwin and Joan Jacobs

Introduced this year, the Lifetime Legacy Award was created to recognize individuals who exemplify a dedication beyond philanthropy and personally help shape UC San Diego and the institution’s impact on the world.

Irwin and Joan Jacobs are dedicated advisers and longtime supporters of UC San Diego. Their devotion to transforming the world through science, technology, the arts and healing is evidenced through their extraordinary philanthropy, such as directing $100 million in gifts toward the Jacobs Medical Center in La Jolla and $110 million to Jacobs School of Engineering. They have also endowed faculty chairs and supported numerous scholarships, UC San Diego School of Medicine, the School of Global Policy and Strategy, the Stuart Collection and the Rady School of Management. Both have served as board members on the UC San Diego Foundation and currently serve as honorary chairs for the Campaign for UC San Diego. Irwin Jacobs is founding chairman and CEO emeritus of Qualcomm Incorporated and is a founding faculty member of UC San Diego. Joan Jacobs is a long-term board member of the La Jolla Playhouse and co-founder of the Friends of the International Center and the Friends of the Stuart Collection. She also currently chairs the UC San Diego Health Sciences Board of Advisers.


The Chancellor’s Medal is one of the highest honors given to distinguished visionaries who have led astonishing and successful endeavors to improve the quality of education, research and our local communities.

This Year’s Honorees


The Revelle Medal is the highest honor given by the Chancellor to UC San Diego faculty emeriti or retired faculty for their sustained, distinguished and extraordinary service to the campus.

This Year’s Honorees

Evenings of Nonconventional Wisdom

Six-month virtual event series:
January-June 2021

Join us, beginning in January, for evenings of nonconventional wisdom and the opportunity to connect with — and be inspired by — what’s next from the UC San Diego community. The six-month virtual event series celebrates the achievements of 60 years ahead of tomorrow and features interactive presentations by the cutting-edge UC San Diego community.

Check back soon for more information.

UC San Diego is turning 60!

Help us celebrate by sharing a video with a happy birthday message or story about what UC San Diego means to you. Post your message on social media with #UCSD60.