TSRI Holds Tenth Commencement
By Mika Ono
use all that is called Fortune. Most men gamble with her,
and gain all, and lose all, as her wheel rolls. But do thou
leave as unlawful these winnings, and deal with Cause and
Ralph Waldo Emerson,
Self-Reliance, 1841, quoted by Professor Paul Schimmel
in TSRI's 2002 commencement address
For students receiving their doctoral degrees, The Scripps
Research Institute's (TSRI) commencement on May 17 provided
moments to rememberthe handshake with their advisor,
the donning of the ceremonial blue and black hood, the grasp
of the diploma in their hand. These were small acts that symbolized
the culmination of years of work and as well as the new opportunities
that lay ahead.
For others, the commencement marked an important moment
in the institute's historyTSRI's tenth commencement,
the first class to graduate from the newly named Kellogg School
of Science and Technology, and the conferral of honorary degrees
to philanthropists Janet ("Jean") Kellogg and W. Keith Kellogg
II. With this commencement, the institute also celebrated
past accomplishments and looked toward a promising future.
The commencement ceremony officially began at 10 AM with
the march east from The Skaggs Institute, through the tunnel
under North Torrey Pines Road, to the Neurosciences Institute
auditorium. Led by TSRI President Richard Lerner, faculty,
graduating students, and current students processed solemnly
along the walkway.
Once in the auditorium, Lerner welcomed the group. Jeffery
Kelly, vice president for academic affairs and dean of graduate
studies, also gave introductory remarks.
"In ways that the founders of this program could not have
anticipated, the graduate program has brought a spirit of
vitality, inquisitiveness, and innovation to the institute
that is apparent to everybody who works in this environment,"
said Kelly. "The students continue to fine-tune the senses
of those of us who, in principal, have more experience. They
frame new and challenging questions about issues that we thought
were fully clarified. They allow us to see science through
their own eyes. And they remind us why we choose to make education
and research our life's venture."
He continued, "It is important to note that many of the
scientific discoveries that are made at The Scripps Research
Institute involve work of graduate studentssomething
that makes us feel enormously proud."
Later is his address, Kelly officially announced the naming
of the TSRI graduate college the Kellogg School of Science
and Technology in "recognition of Jean and Keith Kellogg's
commitment to education and science and their generous support
of science education at The Scripps Research Institute, in
California, and in the state of Illinois... Their endowment
of the graduate program provides us with the resources to
continuously innovatesomething that is absolutely essential
in the fast-moving environment in which we find ourselves
Paul Schimmel, Ernest and Jean Hahn Professor of Molecular
Biology and Chemistry at TSRI, took up this theme in the commencement
"The graduate program at The Scripps will probably go down
as one of the all-time success stories in American graduate
education," he said. "The achievement I'm talking about is
not the achievement of numbers. It's the achievement of quality,
acclaim, and recognition."
However, Schimmel advised TSRI, its graduate program, and
its 2002 graduates to continually reinvent themselves to remain
successful over the long-term.
"You've got to go 'back to the future', over and over, throughout
your lifeas an individual as well as an institutionif
you are going to maintain success," he said. "You're not going
to win by leaving things to chance and just extrapolating
to the future what you did in the past."
After Schimmel's speech, the graduating students' thesis
advisors said a few words about the students and their contributions
to science, and students accepted their diplomas. K.C. Nicolaou,
chair of the Department of Chemistry, set a TSRI record by
graduating four Ph.D. candidates this year, the most ever
from one lab.
Honorary degrees were then conferred on Jean Kellogg and
W. Keith Kellogg II. Carolyn McGunn, the daughter of Jean
Kellogg, accepted the honorary degree on behalf of her mother.
General Packaging Products President William Keith Kellogg
III, the son of W. Keith Kellogg II, accepted an honorary
degree on behalf of his father.
"This is a great achievement for the Kellogg familyto
be honored by such an outstanding scientific academy," said
William Keith Kellogg III, upon accepting the degree. "It
emphasizes our family's consistent commitment to science and
Jean Kellogg is a philanthropist and friend of both science
and higher education. She is a current member of the TSRI
Board of Trustees and an emeritus member of the Foundation
Board for The Scripps Institutions for Medicine and Science.
She has been involved with California State University, San
Marcos, from its beginning stages a decade ago, and the Kelloggs
have been long-time benefactors of Cal Poly Pomona, providing
funding for its 4,000-square-foot W. Keith and Janet Kellogg
University Art Gallery. Jean Kellogg is also an active community
volunteer in local organizations, such as the Rancho Santa
Fe Library Guild.
Keith Kellogg is the retired chairman of General Packaging
Products, a small, Chicago-based company founded by his father,
John Kellogg, who pioneered the use of waxed paper in 1915.
General Packaging prints protective packaging materials, like
candy and frozen food wrappers. Keith Kellogg spent many of
his formative years in a cereal factory, working for his grandfather,
Will Keith Kellogg, inventor of the corn flake and founder
of Kellogg Company, today the world's leading cereal producer.
In the past 10 years, TSRI's Ph.D. program has produced
140 graduates, 21 of whom graduated this year. The institute's
first commencement in 1993 graduated a single student. Since
then, the program has grown rapidly in both size and reputation.
U.S. News & World Report recently ranked TSRI's graduate
program ninth in the biological sciences, sixth in chemistry,
and second in the specialty of organic chemistry.
TSRI alumni hold positions in both academia and industry.
Some of this year's graduates will work at Harvard University,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Uppsala University
(Sweden), University of Minnesota, University of California
at San Diego, the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research
Foundation (GNF), Pharmacia Corporation, and Attenuon, L.L.C.
As TSRI's tenth commencement ceremony came to a close, the
students, faculty, honored guests, and new alumni filed out
of the auditorium to the future that lay waiting.
TSRI Professor Paul Schimmel gave a
commencement address entitled "Back to the Future" in which
he emphasized that responding to change is key for long-term
success. Photo by Kevin Fung.
Clips from the commencement:
Twenty-one students received Ph.D. degrees
from The Scripps Research Institute on May 17. Photo
by Jason Bardi.
News&Views article "Keith
and Jean Kellogg: An Uncommon Couple with the Common Touch.";
News&Views list of graduating
article "U.S. News & World Report Ranks TSRI Among Top Graduate
TSRI Office of Graduate Studies