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Summer 2003
Chairs of Distinction
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Being offered the chair was one of the deciding factors in coming to UCLA, she says. Having unrestricted funds “gives me more freedom to buy equipment and work on projects that are in their beginning stages. (This helps) develop new ideas and get preliminary results that will yield additional funding from other sources.”

That’s what McTague had hoped for when he endowed the Reiss Chair, which honors another UCLA professor. McTague, who also established the John P. McTague Career Development Chair and the Seaborg Medal endowment, taught at UCLA for 12 years and is a professor of materials science at UC Santa Barbara. His background includes a stint as deputy and then acting director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and as science adviser to Presidents Reagan and the senior Bush.

“When I was a professor at UCLA, the department was very supportive. There was a great sense of collegiality, of community. Helping to bring in and nurture younger members of the community, early in their careers, has more leverage than other ways of giving support,” says McTague. “I saw this as an opportunity to say thank you,” and to help a superb public university stay competitive with private schools and “preserve the excellence of faculty and students.”

The endowment also allows Maynard and her students to attend scientific meetings and conferences, where they share work and learn what others are doing, and to “make it possible for me to hire undergraduates for summer research positions that will prepare them to become better scientists.”

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