Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Awards spotlight service and work of Virgil Elings, Betty Elings Wells, Hank Pitcher, Lynn Reitnouer and Bill Villa

The UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association will honor philanthropists Virgil Elings and Betty Elings Wells as Honorary Alumni at its Awards Banquet during the All Gaucho Reunion in April.
Honorees will also include artist Hank Pitcher, ’71, Crowell, Weedon & Company senior partner Lynn Reitnouer, ’55, and former UCSB Director of Admissions Bill Villa, ’69, for their generous work and service to the university.
Virgil Elings and Betty Elings Wells will be recognized for their partnership in the philanthropic support of the California NanoSystems Institute at UC Santa Barbara.
Virgil Elings is a former UCSB professor of physics who made fundamental contributions leading to the scientific revolution at the nanoscale. In 1987, he co-founded Digital Instruments, the first company to make the power of atomic scanning probe microscopy readily available to scientists, a critical starting point in nanoscience and nanotechnology.
During their marriage, Betty Elings Wells was a real estate investor and business partner with her former husband, Virgil Elings. Together, they launched numerous entrepreneurial ventures, including Digital Instruments, where she was office manager and secretary of the corporation.
Pitcher will be recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus for his long career as an artist, which began at UCSB’s College of Creative Studies. Pitcher is best known as a painter of California beach culture, and has had several exhibits and published several books of art. He began teaching art at the College of Creative Studies as soon as he graduated, and became a tenured professor of art in 1996.
Reitnouer will be honored with the Graver Service Award for his work as a trustee of the UCSB Foundation since 1992. He served as board chairman from 1997-1998. He also was the chairman of the Chancellor’s Council from 1993-1995. Reitnouer currently serves as steering committee co-chair of the Campaign for UC Santa Barbara, which has raised $562 million since its inception in 2000.
Villa will receive the Graver Service Award for recognition of his contributions to the campus and its students. Villa served as associate director of the EOP office early on, and then moved to the Admissions office in 1977 as director. He spent 23 years in Admissions, working to diversify the campus’s undergraduate student population.
The 2010 Alumni Association Awards Banquet will be held at 6:30 p.m. April 23 at Corwin Pavilion, UC Santa Barbara University Center. A no-host reception begins at 5:30 p.m. Individual tickets are $90. Blue table reservations are $800. Gold table reservations are $1,000 and receive two bottles of wine. Each table seats eight. To make reservations, register at www.ucsbalum.com/agr or contact Mary MacRae at (805) 893-2957 or e-mail mary.macrae@ia.ucsb.edu.

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If you’d like more information about this topic, please call Mary MacRae at (805) 893-2957 or e-mail Mary at mary.macrae@ia.ucsb.edu.

For reporter, photographer or videographer access to this event, please contact Andrea Huebner at (805) 893-4077 or andrea.huebner@ia.ucsb.edu.

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