TSRI Holds 11th Commencement
By Mika Ono
For 29 young men and women of The Scripps Research Institute's
(TSRI) Kellogg School of Science and Technology, life will
never be quite the same. Yesterday, they were Ph.D. candidates.
Today, they are Ph.D.s.
To mark the occasion, TSRI celebrated its 11th commencement
on May 16 in a ceremony that also awarded two honorary degreesto
distinguished scientist Daniel E. Koshland, Jr., who gave
the keynote address, and businessman, philanthropist, and
TSRI trustee John Moores.
TSRI President Richard A. Lerner welcomed the audience and
introduced the program, noting that this is the first year
students have graduated from TSRI's Ph.D. program under its
new name, The Kellogg School of Science and Technology. The
program was named in honor of philanthropists Janet R. ("Jean")
Kellogg and W. Keith Kellogg II in 2002.
Jeffery Kelly, vice president for academic affairs and dean
of graduate studies, spoke about the 14-year old graduate
program in biology and chemistry, which is widely recognized
for excellence. Not only is it ranked in the top 10 in both
chemistry and biology by U.S. News&World Report, schools
across the country have emulated TSRI's multidisciplinary
approach to graduate education, according to Kelly.
"Extraordinary quality... is the standard and hallmark of
this program," Kelly said.
Honoring Honorary Degree Recipients
Kelly then introduced Koshland and Moores, elaborating on
how TSRI and other institutions select honorary degree recipients.
"Honorary degrees recognize individuals who contribute by
examplethat is, through exemplary science and business
achievements, or by being philanthropic," Kelly noted. "These
are people whose work shakes their profession and leaves a
lasting impression on their disciplines. In the case of this
year's honorees, John Moores and Dan Koshland, I can't think
of better examples of individuals who epitomize these selection
Koshland, who has funded fellowships in TSRI's Kellogg School,
himself graduated in 1941 with a B.S. in Chemistry from the
University of California, Berkeley. During World War II, Koshland
served as a group leader in the Manhattan Project, in the
effort to chemically purify plutonium. After the war, he attended
graduate school at the University of Chicago, where he made
a breakthrough in the synthesis of glucose molecules selectively
labeled with radioactive carbonan important advance
for the study of metabolism.
After postdoctoral work at Harvard University, Koshland
joined Brookhaven National Laboratory and The Rockefeller
University. During this time, he postulated the "induced fit"
hypothesis, which was revolutionary when he first proposed
it as a model for enzyme catalysis. In 1965, Koshland accepted
a professorship at his alma mater, the University of
California, Berkeley. There, he conducted research on enzymology
and enzyme mechanismsparticularly allosteric interactions,
bacterial chemotaxis, and the relationship of enzymes in the
nervous system to memory and behavior. At Berkeley, Koshland
led the Department of Biochemistry and the University of California
Chancellor's Advisory Council on Biology, which oversaw a
massive reorganization of 17 departments in the biological
sciences. Formerly editor-in-chief of Science magazine,
Koshland has received numerous awards and honors, including
the Albert Lasker Award for Special Achievement in Medical
Science, the National Medal of Science, the Pauling Award
from the American Chemical Society, and the University of
California Alumnus of the Year Award.
Moores received a B.S. in Economics from the University
of Houston and a J.D. from that institution's Bates College
of Law. While in school, he worked for IBM and Shell Oil Company.
In 1980, after working as an independent software consultant,
Moores founded BMC Software, Inc. (BMC), where he wrote the
initial highly successful software products at BMC that improved
mainframe computer operating system performance. He served
as CEO of BMC until 1987 and chairman until January 1992.
Moores is currently chairman of the San Diego Padres Baseball
Club, which he acquired in 1994. He is chair of the University
of California Board of Regents and member of the TSRI Board
For more than 10 years, Moores has been one of the most
generous philanthropists in the world, devoting much of his
own personal wealth to a wide variety of causes around the
globe. Recently, he gave $17 million to TSRI and was instrumental
in establishing The Institute for Childhood and Neglected
Diseases at TSRI.
"The Future Belongs to You"
Koshland stepped up to the podium to give a lively, humorous,
and often provocative talk focusing on the state of science
Addressing the graduating students, he said: "I'd like to
discuss two features of science that will be very important
to your future. The first is what I'd call incrementalism,
the fact that great benefits from science to society are the
result of the work of many scientists over many yearsnot
one person who suddenly in a flash of genius understood the
"The second feature of science that you will find to be
important," he continued, "[is] that it is much fun to carry
Koshland noted there are many problems left to be solved
in today's worldfrom cancer to famine to oil spills.
Are we really making progress? Or are we just replacing old
problems with new ones?
"Scientific discoveries do improve the world, even if they
inevitably produce new problems," Koshland said. "The new
problems, as difficult as they are, are less horrendous than
the old ones. That brings us to the future. And that future
belongs to youthe class of 2003."
As Koshland finished his address, the graduating students'
advisors stepped up to speak about each student and his or
her scientific accomplishments at TSRI. Associate Deans Stephen
Mayfield and James Williamson helped Kelly to adorn the graduating
students with their ceremonial blue and black hoods.
Lerner concluded the commencement ceremony: "As candidates
for the degree of doctor of philosophy, you have submitted
yourselves to the traditional disciplines that become the
scholar in the pursuit of knowledge and have proved yourselves
worthy of this high calling....
"You may now move the tassel to the left side of your mortarboard."
Clip from the commencement:
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The 2003 commencement procession sets
out, passing the statue "The Flame of Knowledge," dedicated
to the memory of Norton B. Gilula, the first dean of the graduate
program. Photo by Kevin Fung.
Twenty-nine of 200 students in TSRI's
Kellogg School of Science and Technology are members of this
year's class. Photo by Kevin Fung.
Distinguished scientist Daniel E. Koshland
shares his thoughts about the state of science today. Photo
by Jason S. Bardi.
Graduates are fitted with ceremonial
hoods. Photo by Jason S. Bardi.
Businessman, philanthropist, and TSRI
trustee John Moores receives an honorary degree. Photo
by Jason S. Bardi.
A luncheon on the terrace of the Neurosciences
Institute followed the ceremony, celebrating the graduates
many accomplishments. Photo by Jason S. Bardi.