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Did You Know?

  • The Associates was founded on March 9, 1926, at the home of Henry E. Huntington.
  • Founding members included the publisher of the Los Angeles Times, the Edison Company and Southern California Gas Company founders, a U.S. senator turned resort developer, and a former Occidental College president.
  • In 1929, two founding Associates members, Allan and Janet Balch, set aside stocks and bonds to build Caltech's Athenaeum as a gathering place for the Caltech faculty and the staff of the Huntington Library and Art Gallery and of the Hale Observatories, as well as the Associates. In their wisdom, the Balchs converted these assets to cash just before the stock market crashed. With half a million dollars earmarked exclusively for one building, Caltech created the beautiful and elaborate setting we have today.
  • Albert Einstein was the speaker at the Associates' inaugural event, held at the newly opened Athenaeum in 1931. It was the venue's first formal dinner, and three Nobel Prize winners were in attendance—Einstein, Robert Andrews Millikan, and Albert Abraham Michelson.
  • Today the Associates has more than 1,750 individual members across the world.
  • Associates membership is 82% friends, philanthropists, and community members.
  • Associates members have contributed to 37 new and renovated Institute buildings. One was Beckman Auditorium, built as a venue for the Watson Lecture Series and continues to host programming that makes science and engineering more accessible to the public.
  • Associates members have and continue to endow many fellowships and scholarships that enable Caltech students to pursue their academic passions with flexibility and freedom.
  • Associates membership contributions directly provide unrestricted funds that fuel the early stages of innovative research projects with the potential for world-changing impact.
  • Members have traveled near and far through programming offered by the Associates, from Palomar Observatory to the Galapagos Islands.
  • The Associates has five member regions: Pasadena, the Westside, Northern California, Orange County, and the East Coast.