CAA Announces the 2015 Alumnus of the Year Steve Wozniak, B.S. ’86 and Other Alumni Award Recipients

Steve Wozniak, who received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley in 1986, has been selected as the 2015 Alumnus of the Year by the Cal Alumni Association (CAA), UC Berkeley’s alumni association. Silicon Valley icon and philanthropist Steve Wozniak helped shape the computing industry with the design of Apple’s first line of products. In 1976, he founded Apple Computer Inc. with Steve Jobs, introducing the Apple 1 personal computer. In 1987, Wozniak founded a new venture, CL 9, which developed and brought to market the first programmable universal remote control, and in 2001, he started Wheels of Zeus (WoZ) to create wireless GPS technology. Wozniak has shown his strong commitment to education by serving as a fifth-grade teacher, and has focused on computer capabilities in schools, hands-on learning, and encouragement of student creativity in various business and philanthropic ventures. A Builder of Berkeley, Wozniak has contributed greatly to the University over the past 25 years, particularly to technology and innovation at UC Berkeley.

“We are honored to recognize Steve Wozniak with CAA’s most esteemed award,” said CAA President Cynthia So Schroeder ’91. “His invaluable contributions to education and to UC Berkeley place him among Cal’s most accomplished and respected alumni.” Recent past awardees include William Powers Jr., B.A. ’67; Frank Davis Ph.D. ’55; Eric Schmidt M.S. ’79, Ph.D. ’82; Steven Chu Ph.D. ’76; Robert D. Haas ’64; and Thelton E. Henderson ’55, J.D. ’62.

Wozniak’s awards and honors include the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award (1979), the National Medal of Technology from President Ronald Reagan (1985), and multiple Honorary Doctor of Engineering degrees. Wozniak was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame (2000), and received the Heinz Award for Technology, the Economy, and Employment (2001). Wozniak was also inducted into the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame (2004), and received the Global Award of the President of Armenia for Outstanding Contribution to Humanity through IT (2011). In 2014, Wozniak was awarded the 66th Hoover Medal from IEEE President and CEO J. Roberto de Marca, on behalf of a board representing five engineering organizations, for his professional achievements and personal endeavors that have advanced the well-being of humankind.

The Cal Alumni Association is also honoring alumni in the following categories:

The Excellence in Achievement Award is being presented to Peter Chernin ’73, Chairman and CEO of The Chernin Group, UC Berkeley trustee and philanthropist, and creator of the Berkeley Connect program at Cal; David Tom Cooke ’94, Section Head of General Thoracic Surgery and Associate Program Director of UC Davis Cardiothoracic Surgery Residencies, and co-founder of #LCSMChat; and Yoky Matsuoka ’93, VP of Technology and Analytics at Twitter, VP of Technology at Nest, co-founder of Google[x], and MacArthur Award recipient.

The Mark Bingham Award for Excellence in Achievement by a Young Alumnus is being presented to Wally Adeyemo ’03, Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew, former Chief of Staff of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and former editor at the Hamilton Project of the Brookings Institution.

The Excellence in Service Award is being presented to Nicolas Tollet ’05, Founder and president of the Berkeley Club of France, Attorney at Law, and member of Berkeley Law’s International Advisory Committee.

The Bradford S. King Award for Excellence in Service by a Young Alumnus is being presented to Eric Kathrein ’09, co-founder of the annual Cal Young Alumni Blue & Gold Bash, commercial real estate professional focusing on shopping center investment sales, and member of UC Berkeley Young Alumni Giving Campaign ’13; and Justin Sharp ’09, co-founder of the annual Cal Young Alumni Blue & Gold Bash, Capital Markets Associate at a commercial real estate firm, real estate advisor for Stiles Hall and various UC Berkeley real estate projects.

The award for Outstanding Alumni Chapter is being presented to Pappy’s Boys, founded in 1987 to commemorate Coach Pappy Waldorf, and which raises thousands of dollars for Cal Athletics and Cal Football.

Photo of Steve Wozniak courtesy of William Mercer McLeod.


Its a little tough hoping any of us other 86’rs will ever be alumnus of the year when we graduated in the same class as “The Woz”. He actually went back to Cal, even after starting Apple, to finish his degree. Very admirable, I’ve always thought. He could have taken the easy way out and just ‘phoned it in’ at Stanford. I had the great chance to meet Woz again while I was at Microsoft. He’s not only a great engineer but a very inspiring speaker when he recounts the start of Apple. It was great to meet him and ask him about the funny alias he used while registered at Cal. Anyone remember it?
Congrats everybody -

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