National security leader Herbert York to receive Clark Kerr award

By Diane Ainsworth, Public Affairs

Herbert York

18 October 00 | Berkeley professor emeritus Herbert York, a leader in national security issues who also was UC San Diego's founding chancellor, has been awarded this year's Clark Kerr Award for Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education.

The founder and first director of the systemwide Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, York will receive the award - the highest honor bestowed by Berkeley's Academic Senate - at an awards dinner Oct. 27, at the Faculty Club.

"Herb York was a genius in helping to create the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and at moving the University of San Diego from Roger Revelle's grand vision and early remarkable recruitment to a well-functioning and all-around research university of the first rank," said Clark Kerr, former UC president and Berkeley professor emeritus of business administration, who will preside over the awards ceremony with UC President Richard Atkinson and Chancellor Berdahl. "It took good judgment, quiet persistence, a firm grasp of reality and a refined capacity for persuasion, and he had them all."

Established in 1968 to honor individuals who have made an extraordinary contribution to the advancement of higher education, the award recognizes York for leadership in the arms control movement and nuclear energy. Known for his commitment to social responsibility in the advancement of science and public policy, York is the founding chairman of the UCSD Diversity Council and a member of the UC President's Council on Nuclear Laboratories.

He founded UC's Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation in 1983 and serves today as director emeritus. Among his many prestigious honors, York received the Vannevar Bush Award from the National Science Board, the policymaking arm of the National Science Foundation, earlier this year. He was the recipient of the American Physical Society's Leo Szilard Award in 1994 and the Federation of American Scientists' Public Service Award in 1993.

A professor emeritus of physics, York came to Berkeley in 1943, at the age of 21, to serve as a scientist on the Manhattan Project, which developed the first atomic bomb. Six years later, he earned a doctorate in physics from Berkeley and, in 1953, became the first director of the UC-operated Lawrence Livermore Laboratory.

During the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, he served in a variety of positions in Washington D.C., including adviser on arms and disarmament to six U.S. presidents. From 1979 to1981, he was ambassador and chief negotiator for the comprehensive test ban negotiations under President Jimmy Carter. He also co-founded the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency.

In 1961, he was recruited as UC San Diego's first chancellor and was awarded the Atomic Energy Commission's Ernest O. Lawrence Memorial Award in 1962. He continued as chancellor until 1964, then returned to the classroom as a professor of physics at UCSD, becoming dean of graduate studies in 1968 and acting chancellor of UCSD from 1970 to 1972.

The honorary dinner celebration will begin at 6 p.m. in the Seaborg Room of the Faculty Club, followed by presentation of the award at 7:15 p.m. For information, contact Camille Riley in the Academic Senate office at 643-7548.


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