UC Santa Cruz Review Summer/Fall 1995
Campus Update: Teacher inspires family to endow chair in environmental studies
Inspired by the impact a professor's mentorship had on their son, a Los Gatos couple has pledged a gift of $250,000 to UC Santa Cruz to establish an endowed chair in environmental studies.
The gift from Dr. Alan G. Giberson and Margaret S. Lyons Giberson of Los Gatos, California, establishes the Pepper-Giberson Endowed Chair in Environmental Studies. The gift reflects the Giberson family's desire to foster greater public awareness of the need to protect and preserve the environment. It also honors Professor Emeritus James Pepper for his "pivotal contribution" to the environmental studies program at UCSC, said the Giberson family.
The Gibersons have previously supported UCSC's Annual Fund campaign, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Long Marine Laboratory, and the environmental studies program. But it was their son Erik's experience as a UCSC undergraduate in environmental studies that compelled them to fund an endowed chair. Erik Giberson graduated from UCSC in 1994 and now works for an environmental planning firm in the San Francisco Bay Area.
"Environmental considerations have been close to our hearts for a long time," said Margaret Giberson, a trustee of the UCSC Foundation. "We're aware of the importance of environmental quality to the quality of life in general, and education goes hand in hand with that. Erik's experience focused our convictions. He was so inspired by Jim Pepper's teaching--it really made it a living discipline for Erik."
James Pepper joined the UCSC faculty in 1972, specializing in land-use planning. "This is a great honor," said Pepper, who retired in 1994 but continues to teach on campus. "My career has been enriched by working with exceptional students like Erik, and I am deeply grateful for this legacy to our shared commitment to environmental conservation and protection. It pleases me to know that this support will help maintain the high standards of teaching and research that are the cornerstones of the environmental studies program."
"It is a special pleasure to accept a gift that recognizes the excellence of a program and the particular contributions of one of our faculty," said Chancellor Pister. "This campus places special emphasis on undergraduate education, and this gift reflects the best that we have to offer."