UCLA Engineering Alumnus Vinton Cerf MS ’70, PhD ’72 Honored as UCLA Edward A. Dickson Alumnus of the Year

May 18, 2011

By UCLA Samueli Newsroom

UCLA will honor Vinton Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google Inc., at ceremonies on campus on Friday, May 20. The awards tradition, which began in 1946, pays tribute to alumni who manifest outstanding achievement in their professional fields and have demonstrated a commitment to excellence through their contributions to society. Four other outstanding alumni will also be honored with the UCLA Award in Community Service (Madelyn Alfano ’80), the UCLA Professional Achievement Award (Art Spander ’60), the UCLA Award in Public Service (’64, JD ’67) and the UCLA Award in University Service (Rita Rothman ’70).

The UCLA Awards are bestowed by the UCLA Alumni Association.

Vinton Cerf | Edward A. Dickson Alumnus of the Year 

Cerf, who earned a master’s degree in 1970 and a Ph.D. in 1972 at UCLA, is vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google Inc. The Dickson Alumnus of the Year award, UCLA’s oldest and highest alumni tribute, is given to someone who has rendered a special and outstanding service to UCLA or who, by personal achievement, has brought great honor and distinction to the university.

Cerf, widely known as one of the “fathers of the Internet,” co-designed the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet. In addition, as vice president of MCI Digital Information Services from 1982 to 1986, he led the engineering of MCI Mail, the first commercial email service to be connected to the Internet. In 1994, he rejoined MCI as senior vice president of technology strategy. He is currently working with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the interplanetary Internet to communicate from planet to planet.

As chief Internet evangelist of Google, Cerf is responsible for identifying enabling technologies and applications to support the development of advanced Internet-based products and services.

Cerf was chairman of the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN); founding president and a member of the Internet Society; a member of the board of advisors of Scientists and Engineers for America; and member of the board of trustees of Gallaudet University, serving the deaf and hard of hearing.

Among his many awards, Cerf received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor bestowed in the U.S., for work that has “transformed global commerce, communication and entertainment.” Cerf earned his bachelor’s degree at Stanford.

UCLA is California’s largest university, with an enrollment of more than 38,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The UCLA College of Letters and Science and the university’s 11 professional schools feature renowned faculty and offer 328 degree programs and majors. UCLA is a national and international leader in the breadth and quality of its academic, research, health care, cultural, continuing education and athletic programs. Six alumni and five faculty have been awarded the Nobel Prize.

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