Since 1983, the University of California, Santa Cruz has been a direct recipient of Jack Baskin’s time and generosity. In 1983, his support and leadership launched the computer engineering program creating the “Baskin Center for Computer Engineering and Information Sciences.” In 1988, Mr. Baskin created the first endowed professorship in engineering for computer engineering. In 1997, after 14 years, his long-held dream of an engineering school at UCSC was realized. His $5 million gift led to the creation of “The Jack Baskin School of Engineering.” Jack’s on-going commitment to educating Silicon Valley engineers continues, shown by his recent gift to create the School’s newest chair in Biomolecular Engineering and fund the newly built “Baskin Engineering Auditorium,” a state-of-the-art classroom.
Jack Baskin put his engineering talents to work in the Silicon Valley community long before his involvement at UCSC. His leadership led his company to provide thousands of low-income housing units throughout the Silicon Valley region and beyond. In 1960, Jack retired to Santa Cruz and became very involved in the life of the Santa Cruz community. In 1985, Jack and his late wife were named Man and Woman of the Year by the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce for their unselfish and dedicated contributions to the county.
Jack was born in upstate New York, attended the University of Colorado, and received his degree in aeronautical engineering from New York University. In 1948, he obtained his California Professional Engineer’s license and became a general contractor in Southern California working on commercial, industrial, and public construction projects. His life is an example of an engineer’s responsibility to the community.