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Member Spotlight: Caltech Trustee Ted Jenkins (BS '65, MS '66)

Tell us how you first got involved with the Caltech Associates and why supporting Caltech is important to you.

Because I had such a great academic, social, and athletic experience at Caltech—and it made my career so fortunate—I've enjoyed and been gratified by staying involved and supporting the next generations of Techers.

What do you wish other people knew about Caltech and the Associates?

Caltech produces amazing technical and scientific achievements that are even more impressive considering its size. The faculty, alumni, and supporters are fun to engage with both socially and intellectually. In my view, there are no other organizations as philanthropically effective as Caltech. It has a high return rate for the aggressive science it pursues.

What do you enjoy most about being a Caltech Associate?

Some of the most enjoyable activities are interacting with students and knowing that future generations will be as outstandingly creative and productive as previous ones; hearing about the latest scientific and technological breakthroughs from, and discussing them with, the faculty; traveling with Associates and alumni on trips led by expert faculty; and attending events to engage with other like-minded Caltech supporters. It's hard not to enjoy Caltech!

What might we be surprised to know about you?

As I was finishing up my master's degree in electrical engineering in 1966, Carver Mead, my advisor and now Caltech's Gordon and Betty Moore Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus, introduced a small group of us to Gordon Moore, the director of Fairchild R&D, in a small conference in Spaulding, where part of the electrical engineering department was located. He told us some stories about the research going on and invited all of us who were looking for work to come for a visit and interviews. I did, and I landed a job in process technology for Linear Integrated Circuits. That lasted until 1968, when Gordon Moore and the late Andy Grove, then one of Intel's founders and CEOs, asked me to join them at Intel as the 22nd employee. While there, I developed the process for the first product, a 64-bit SRAM, and the first CMOS process, ran wafer fabrication manufacturing, led the Peripheral Components Operation and the Memory Division as we switched to flash memory, and finished off by establishing and implementing our patent filing and licensing strategies. Many years later, at Carver's 80th birthday celebration, held at the home of fellow Associate and alumnus Milton Chang, I was invited to say a few words. During my speech, I shared a few stories and confirmed that Carver was indeed a great advisor, but he was a better employment agent!

Do you have a favorite Caltech story or moment?

Some fond memories of the Caltech Associates are the many trips that my wife, Ginger, and I have participated in. One great experience was on a trip to Ireland with Caltech's Bill Deverell. We toured beautiful castles and historic landmarks, and one afternoon we heard from John Hume, Northern Irish political leader and 1998 Nobel Prize winner for Peace. Following the luncheon, we toured the historic seventeenth-century Guildhall in Derry, and during the intimate tour of the council's chamber, Hume burst into song and delivered a captivating a cappella "O'Danny Boy." His compelling rendition, echoing through the grand chambers, has stayed with me through the years and is truly a great example of the very special and unique opportunities that are provided by the Associates.

Ted Jenkins

Member Since: 1974
Membership Level: President's Circle Member
Chapter: Northern California
Job Title: Retired, Intel VP and Director of Corporate Licensing