Arnold O. Beckman, Donald Bren and Joan Irvine Smith, who have long been leading supporters of UC Irvine, are the recipients of a new honor established by the UCI Foundation.
Beckman, founder of Beckman Instruments, Bren, chairman and owner of The Irvine Co., and Smith, a renowned philanthropist, have been named trustees emeriti of the foundation.
"Through their diligence and belief in UCI and, most of all, their generosity, we stand proudly among the very finest research institutions this nation offers," Chancellor Laurel L. Wilkening said.
The UCI Foundation, a volunteer organization, provides advice to UCI officials, helps raise money for research and scholarships and manages private investments on the university's behalf.
The trustee emeriti honor is a lifetime designation; Beckman, Bren and Smith are the first to be recognized in this way.
Beckman has contributed to UCI through the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. His initial $2.5-million gift helped establish the UCI Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic, which opened in 1986.
Smith's role in UCI's history began well before the first students arrived for class. As a member of The Irvine Co. board of directors in the late 1950s, she was a leading advocate of the company's decision to donate 1,000 acres of land on which the university is located. She has donated time and contributions in the millions for research programs.
Bren's many initiatives and gifts have made possible, among other things, the Bren Fellows program, which provides revenue for recruiting leading researchers from around the world. UCI has two endowed Bren Fellows: Nobel Laureate F. Sherwood Rowland and noted evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala.