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Caltech Fund Stories

Students, alumni and staff share their Caltech stories and what the Institute means to them.

Ari Kaplan '92

"The fun in this work is doing something that hasn't been done before. Innovating—that's truly the Caltech spirit."

Three of Caltech's First Alumnae

“What was special about Caltech was the people. More than anything else, community among the students, the extraordinary quality of mind of the other students, and the accessibility and brilliance of the faculty.”

Stephanie Charles '73

“Where else would a Nobel laureate walk up to a student simply to offer a helping hand? And where else would there be an honor code that compelled me to say no?”

Dick Van Kirk '58

"Looking back at the 60 years since my graduation, I can see that studying at Caltech has been the single most significant, life-changing event I’ve experienced."

Joseph Shepherd PhD '81, Vice President for Student Affairs

"Annual gifts enable graduate and undergraduate students to work in my lab, obtaining the kind of hands-on research experience that is the hallmark of a Caltech education."

Yeorgia Kafkoulis

Yeorgia spent her summer trying to reconcile quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity.

Anusha Nathan '18

"It's hard to make a difference in your particular research field at the undergraduate level. But Caltech professors are extremely willing to get involved. They know that one day in the future you'll need that support and they don't want to disadvantage anyone. No one will leave you behind."

Peter Hung BS '08, MS '12, PhD '16

"The atmosphere at Caltech is unique. It promotes curiosity and better understanding of science. It didn't matter if a group of us were working on a problem set, chatting at a house dinner, or just hanging out off campus on a weekend - everyone was always open to discussing anything scientific that we found interesting."

Albert Whittlesey '62
“I very much appreciated the unique culture of Caltech. Being taught by Nobel Prize-winning faculty, having the freedom to discuss and spread ideas among fellow students, and the honor code provided a wonderful working background environment that may not be duplicated anywhere else. I’m delighted that continues to this day.”

Meet Grace Park '16
“I’ve benefited because a Caltech alum or parent decided to be generous. I look forward to giving back to help future Techers get the most out of their Caltech experience.”

The Fund Celebrates 70 Years!
"Over the decades, the Institute has grown physically with new buildings and labs, but has also experienced growth in other ways ..."

Meet the Murphys
“We believe in Caltech. It’s been so rewarding to experience our sons’ metamorphosis and be included in the process.”

Meet Mason Smith '09
"I left Caltech feeling part of a family. And families help each other."

Meet Abby Crites '06
"It’s thrilling that the Class of 2019 is 46 percent female, as engaging more women in science means more role models for future generations. And I’m happy to be playing a part in making science more inclusive."

Meet Michael Wong
"Nobody said grad school was going to be easy, but nobody told me it was going to be this much fun, either."

Caltech Traditions
"Which traditions are the most memorable to you? Frosh camp? Rotation? Ride of the Valkyries?" David Flicker BS'15.

Caltech Water Polo
"Make no mistake about it: these Techers want to win, " Coach Pat Beemer.

Katie Stack Morgan PhD'14 - Two Years Later
"Collaborating with the scientists and engineers at JPL has been one of the highlights of my Caltech experience."

BRUCE + the Caltech Robotics Team
"Whether it’s through partnering with JPL on space missions or sponsoring robotics competitions in gymnasiums and pools, Caltech is unafraid to grapple with the difficult questions." - Dave Zobel '84

Kenneth G. Libbrecht '80
"I feel extremely privileged to be able to pursue my varied interests while inspiring today’s Techers."

Coach Carla Corbit, Caltech Fencing
"I have the same expectations as any faculty member or advisor: I expect my students to succeed."

Alison Tan '14
"Once accepted, you’re connected to a small but mighty network of students, faculty, staff, and alumni who truly want each other to succeed."

Viviana Gradinaru BS '05
"I will always be grateful to faculty, staff, fellow house and classmates, and my family for believing in me and my work."

Andrew Gong BS '12
"I chose to come to Caltech for the liberties and opportunities it would afford me. I learned to create beyond the boundaries of the classroom and challenge conventions."

Ishwari Bendre BS '12
"I say it a lot, and I mean it every single time - I did not know opportunity until I came to Caltech."

Coach Sandra Marbut, Women's Basketball
"I am a coach and a teacher in the learning lab of college athletics. I am a professor, and my classroom is the court."

Katie Stack PhD '14
"On the night of the landing, I followed along nervously with a timeline of the entry, descent and landing milestones. I could barely take the suspense of those 7 minutes..."