President Laurie Leshin was awarded the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award from Caltech, the institute’s highest honor, given each year to a small number of alumni in recognition of their personal and professional accomplishments and their impact. President Leshin, who earned an MS and PhD in geochemistry from Caltech, joined three other alumni--Bob Behnken (MS ’93, PhD ’97), Barbara Burger (PhD ’87), and Charles Elachi (MS ’69, PhD ’71)--in receiving the honor, which has been awarded since 1966.
CalTech issued a press release Monday, July 19, 2021 and noted that the award recipients were selected by a committee of Caltech alumni faculty and administrative leaders from nominations submitted by the Caltech community and alumni. President Leshin tweeted her gratitude and said she was “deeply honored to be named a Caltech Distinguished Alum, and to share the award with these fine folks, especially [Jet Propulsion Lab’s] Charles Elachi who has been a great mentor to me. My Caltech education shaped me as a scientist and a person in so many ways. So thrilled!”