San Diego, CA, September 22, 2007 -- Private donors working closely with the University of California, San Diego have established a philanthropic initiative to support the activities of a new research center devoted to innovating and using new technologies to better understand and preserve artistic treasures.
"Friends of CISA3" will channel gifts and other support to the Center of Interdisciplinary Science for Art, Architecture and Archaeology (CISA3) at UC San Diego, founded in February 2007. Individual, family and trust donations at the $25,000, $50,000 and $100,000 levels will be used to support technology and field projects that further the center's mission - the conservation and preservation of the world's cultural and artistic heritage through modern science and technology.
In announcing the new vehicle for philanthropic support, organizers said that the inaugural donations at the top $100,000 level came from two couples with deep ties to the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering: alumni Sandra Timmons and Richard Sandstrom; and long-time supporters of the engineering school, Natalie and Robert Englekirk (an adjunct professor in the structural engineering department).
"We are delighted to be in a position to push forward this amazing new center that is bringing San Diego know-how onto the world stage," said Sandstrom, co-founder and chief technical advisor of Cymer, Inc. "I am particularly taken with CISA3's focus on multispectral imaging of great art works, because we are literally seeing these works again for the first time-in a way that no one has been able to see them in hundreds of years."
Robert Englekirk is chairman emeritus of The Englekirk Companies. "As a structural engineer, I appreciate that a major focus of CISA3 is on understanding monumental buildings and other historic structures," said Englekirk. "Natalie and I are impressed with the work that has already been done by the center's director, Maurizio Seracini, over the past thirty years, and we hope that other Californians and donors around the country will join us in underwriting the fantastic set of high-profile projects that are already underway or on the drawing board."
Projects expected to receive funding through "Friends of CISA3" include, among others:
"I am extremely grateful to Rick and Sue, Bob and Natalie, as well as our other Friends of CISA3, because they confirm what I have always thought about California and why I returned to UCSD for this opportunity," said Seracini. "I do not know of any other educational institution that is so dedicated to the interdisciplinary approach on which CISA3 is based, and nowhere that you can find this combination of technological know-how, interest in art and culture, and a civic community willing to support philanthropic causes that are not easily categorized. I don't think CISA3 could have happened anywhere else."
Donors interested in becoming members of "Friends of CISA3" can subscribe at one of three levels: Leonardo ($100,000+), Michelangelo ($50,000) or Raphael ($25,000). Membership benefits range from invitations to CISA3 salons and lectures, to a behind-the-scenes, privileged tour of the museums and private villas of Florence guided by Dr. Seracini. Additional naming and funding opportunities are available to support specific projects, initiatives and students. More information about joining "Friends of CISA3" is available from Kelly Briggs at (858) 534-2329, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.