An endowed professorship in interdisciplinary science has been established at UC Santa Barbara with a $1 million gift from alumnus Richard Whited, and his wife, Paula, of Santa Barbara.
The Richard Whited Chair in the Division of Mathematical, Life, and Physical Sciences will support the teaching and research of an outstanding assistant professor with interdisciplinary research interests focusing on energy efficiency.
Whited, who earned his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in physics at UCSB, said he made the recent gift because he wanted to give back to the university.
"UCSB has played an important role in both my life as well as in the community in which I live," he said.
"I am pleased to be able to contribute to the educational goals of the campus."
UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang expressed his gratitude to the Whiteds for their generous gift.
"The Richard Whited Chair will not only advance research and teaching at the forefront of innovative discoveries in interdisciplinary science, with a focus on energy efficiency, but will also help develop the career of a brilliant assistant professor in this frontier area," he said.
"This is a tremendous gift that will have a lasting impact at UC Santa Barbara."
Endowed chairs are highly prized academic positions that recognize scholarly excellence.
Proceeds from the endowment provide permanent funding to support the activities of distinguished scholars.
"I am delighted by the opportunity that the new Richard Whited Chair in Interdisciplinary Science provides to UCSB," said Pierre Wiltzius, Worster Dean of Science.
"It will help us attract and support an outstanding tenure track assistant professor working at the interface between physics, environmental studies, and energy efficiency.
This chair eminently represents the strengths of our collaborative spirit."
Richard Whited is founder and president of Quicksilver Trading Inc.
After completing his doctorate, he conducted research at Louisiana State University and at EG&G in Santa Barbara.
Later, he became a commodity trading advisor.