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UCSB Foundation Trustee Mark Bertelsen and his wife, Susan, have made a major gift to establish an endowed chair in computer science at UC Santa Barbara.
The Bertelsens, both UCSB graduates, have chosen to name the chair in memory of Susan Bertelsen’s father, Eugene Aas. The Eugene Aas Chair in Computer Science will be used to attract and support the research of a leading junior faculty member working in the forefront of the discipline.
This is the second endowed chair established in computer science at UCSB in the past academic year. Karl and Pam Lopker, cofounders of software firm QAD, announced last October the endowment of a chair in honor of Venky Narayanamurti, former UCSB dean of engineering.
“We are grateful for the philanthropic leadership of Mark and Susan Bertelsen and their numerous and generous contributions to advancing our university, including the visionary guidance Mark has provided as a past chair and ongoing member of our UCSB Foundation Board of Trustees,” said Chancellor Henry T. Yang.
Endowed chairs are highly prized academic positions that enable a university to develop more fully a field of study by providing ongoing financial support for enhanced research and instruction. At UCSB, the money for an endowed chair is invested, and the annual interest income supports scholarly activities in a carefully chosen subject. This guarantees permanent funding.
“The Eugene Aas Chair will be enormously useful in helping UCSB to attract top-notch faculty to the Computer Science Department,” said Linda Petzold, department chair.
The Bertelsens are volunteer leaders and generous benefactors of the campus. Last year, they donated $1 million to foster entrepreneurial education in the College of Engineering.