WPI Fetes Noteworthy Alumni and Friends at the Spectacular California Academy of Sciences

The event recognized alumni and friends who have made important contributions to society.

WPI held its annual "Rising Stars" evening to recognize alumni and friends who have made important contributions to society through their work in a broad range of fields. The event was held at the spectacular new home of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco on the evening of Friday, April 16. Hosted by President Dennis Berkey and his wife, Catherine, and WPI Trustee Daniel Farrar ’84, chief executive officer at OPENLANE Inc. in Redwood City, Calif., the event included a reception, dinner in the museum's Moss Room restaurant, and an intimate after-hours tour of the building that included a look at exhibits that are not open to the general public.

The new California Academy of Sciences building, which opened in September 2008 in Golden Gate Park, is a stunning $500 million, 412,000-square-foot structure is designed to blend seamlessly with the natural beauty of the surrounding park. Housing an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum, and a four-story rainforest, the building is a model of sustainable architecture, with a 2.5-acre living roof, an expansive solar canopy, an extensive water reclamation system, and walls insulated with recycled blue jeans.

Attendees included

Ari A. Chaney '87, executive director for technology translation and lecturer and project manager for the Coulter Translational Grant Program at Stanford University

Paul C. Disario '42, retired vice president at Burns & Roe Inc.

Wilfrid J. Houde '59, trustee emeritus and retired president of W. J. Houde & Associates in Los Gatos, Calif.

Chinh H. Le '87, CEO and founder of LeWiz Communications Inc, a pioneer in video streaming accelerated technology in San Jose, Calif.

Samuel J. Pullara '93, entrepreneur-In-residence at Benchmark Capital in Menlo Park, Calif., and former chief technologist for Yahoo! within the company's Product Strategy Group

Sarah and Carl Rosendahl, parents of Eric Rosendahl, a member of WPI's Class of 2011. Sarah, formerly a senior field representative for California State Senator Joe Simitian, is pursuing a master's in public policy at Mills College; Carl, who teaches at Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center in Silicon Valley, founded Pacific Data Images, a pioneer in computer animation for film and television

Robert W. Sherburne '79, formerly chief digital architect at Airify Communications in Mountain View, Calif.

April 20, 2010

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