"We established the chair to maintain and foster excellence at UC Santa Barbara," said Fred Wudl, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry who also serves as co-director of the campus's Center for Polymers and Organic Solids.
The Wudl Chair will support the teaching and research of an outstanding materials scholar with interdisciplinary research interests that would merit a joint appointment in the life or physical sciences.
"We are sincerely grateful to Fred and Linda for their extraordinary vision and generosity," said Chancellor Henry T. Yang. "Professor Wudl has already given so much to UC Santa Barbara through his sustained groundbreaking research and leadership in the field of organic chemistry and materials, as well as his dedicated teaching and mentorship of students. He and Linda are also giving so generously to create this wonderful legacy of the Fred and Linda R. Wudl Chair. We will now be able to recruit and retain a world-class scientist working at the forefront of materials science."
Endowed chairs are highly prized academic positions that enable a university to attract and retain top faculty members and to develop more fully a field of study by providing ongoing unrestricted financial support for enhanced research and instruction.
James Speck, chair of materials, said, "Our colleague, Professor Fred Wudl, has made an overwhelmingly generous and exemplary gift to UCSB. The Materials Department extends its gratitude to Professor Wudl and looks forward to his continued leadership and participation in the department and at the university."
Wudl, a creator of new organic materials, has made pioneering contributions to the field of chemistry for more than 30 years. He has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Chemists in the World by the Institute for Scientific Information and has received numerous awards and honors including the American Chemical Society Award for Chemistry of Materials. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the advancement of Science. Wudl earned both his undergraduate and doctoral degrees from UCLA.
Linda Wudl, also a UCLA graduate, holds advanced degrees from Harvard University and SUNY Buffalo. She has a Ph.D. in genetics and served as vice president of quality at Amgen until her retirement several years ago.
UCSB's Materials Department introduces students to novel ways of doing research in a collaborative, multidisciplinary environment. It offers a five-year bachelor of science in the engineering/master of science materials program, as well as master's and doctoral degrees. The department's distinguished faculty includes two Nobel laureates and the winner of the 2006 Millennium Technology Prize.
Since the inception of The Campaign for UC Santa Barbara in 2000, UCSB's endowment now estimated at $200 million has grown by $126 million. Fifty-four new endowed professorships have been established during the campaign, bringing UCSB's total to 78.