Member Spotlight: Bill Bogaard
Name: Bill Bogaard
Member Since: 1985
Membership Level: Ambassador
Chapter: Southern California
Job Title: Former mayor of Pasadena, 1999–2015
Tell me how you first got involved with the Caltech Associates and why supporting Caltech is important to you.
My wife, Claire, and I were attracted to the Associates by the opportunity to learn more about Caltech and the privilege to use the Athenaeum for dining and other events. At the time, we did not fully appreciate the global prominence of Caltech and its ongoing record of major discoveries and advances in science and technology.
Pasadena is prominent for many reasons, but Caltech and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory are major reasons for the city's recognition nationally and around the world. It is a special experience indeed to access the programs and progress of Caltech through the window of the Associates. As residents of the city for more than 40 years, Claire and I take special pride in being part of Caltech.
What do you enjoy the most about being part of the Caltech Associates?
Over the years, it has been fascinating to share at close hand news of Caltech's many successes and accomplishments and the international recognition [the Institute] receives. Membership in the Associates provides ready access to the knowledge, the personalities, and the excitement of Caltech.
Outside of your involvement with the Caltech Associates and serving on the East Coast Committee, what do you do?
Over the years, my career has involved many interesting and informative endeavors, as a practicing lawyer, a corporate executive, and mayor of Pasadena. Currently, my professional activities include board membership at the Huntington Memorial Hospital, the Pasadena Community Foundation, and Pasadena Bioscience Collaborative. But throughout the years, membership in the Associates has added to and deeply enriched my understanding of the community and the world.
Do you have a favorite Caltech memory/story/moment?
Soon after I took office in 1999 as Pasadena's first directly elected mayor, an invitation arrived to attend that year's Caltech graduation. I accepted immediately, assuming that Pasadena mayors' attendance at this annual event was a longstanding tradition. But as the ceremony began, after welcoming everyone, the chair of the Board of Trustees stated, "We are especially pleased to welcome Pasadena's mayor, Bill Bogaard. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time the city's mayor has attended this event." Needless to say, at that moment, attendance at Caltech graduations became a mayoral tradition that has not since been breached.