ViaSat Gives $1 Million to UC San Diego Arthur C. Clarke Center
ViaSat named Founding Partner of the center that honors one of the most engaging science fiction writers of all time
November 21, 2013 --
"ViaSat's co-founders include UC San Diego alumni, and they understand the importance of imagination in seeking new frontiers," said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. "The company's generous gift will help the Clarke Center honor the late author and innovator through cultural, scientific and medical transformations. These occur when imagination is more effectively incorporated into research and our daily lives."
Britain's Sir Arthur C. Clarke, celebrated for his multi-disciplinary legacy in science and engineering, is also considered one of the most inspiring and engaging science fiction writers of all time for such classics as "Childhood's End," "Rendezvous with Rama" as well as "2001: A Space Odyssey." His visionary books and papers have fueled the imaginations and avocations of young and old for more than six decades.
That vision is why ViaSat contributed to the center. The gift will support the Clarke Center's operations and imagination research; a portion will also be used to establish the Arthur C. Clarke Center Endowment to ensure the Clarke Center's sustainability.
In 1986, Mark D. Dankberg, together with UC San Diego alumni Steven R. Hart,'80 and Mark J. Miller,'81, founded ViaSat. In 2008, to much skepticism from both the satellite industry and financial markets, the trio embarked on their $500 million project to build a satellite, ViaSat-1, with more capacity than all other satellites over North America combined-a project that has achieved commercial success and spurred an industry to follow ViaSat's lead in finding innovative ways to continue to reposition satellite as a viable competitor to other communication technologies. Today, the company provides communication, security, and networking systems and services to consumers as well as government, military and corporate clients.
"When I was a little kid, I was always fascinated by space and science fiction. And Arthur C. Clarke was certainly someone I admired," said Mark D. Dankberg, ViaSat chairman of the board and CEO. "Imagination is one of the core elements of who we are. Being the Founding Partner of the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination is a way for us to encourage more people to expand the boundaries of what's possible. We look forward to an ongoing partnership in support of the center's research and program agenda."
He said that when he and co-founders Mark Miller and Steve Hart were starting ViaSat they always aspired to do satellite networks, but that they never dreamed of having a satellite of their own. Citing the company's recently announced next step of building ViaSat-2, he referred to Arthur Clarke's quote: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Added Hart, vice president and chief technical officer for the company, "Human imagination will play a critical role in the future of our company, just as it will in shaping the future of society. As a Founding Partner, we fully support the goals and mission of the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination."
The center was established by an agreement between UC San Diego and the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation in 2012. Its initiatives will span a wide range of disciplines and collaborations among institutions and individuals to help understand the nature of imagination and to build tools and develop methods that will extend imagination. UC San Diego's Sheldon Brown, professor of computing in the arts in the Department of Visual Arts in the Division of Arts and Humanities, is the director of the center.
The mission of UC San Diego's Clarke Center is to understand, enhance and enact the phenomena of human imagination. Engaging interested individuals and organizations through programs and events is a key focus of the center. On Dec. 3 from 5:30 to 6 p.m., Clarke Center scholar Jon Lomberg will present "Becoming Galactic: Citizens of the Galaxy," a free program open to the public at Atkinson Hall. Lomberg, considered one of the foremost artists inspired by astronomy, won an Emmy Award for his work as chief artist for the television series COSMOS. Learn more at http://imagination.ucsd.edu.
Private support will help the Clarke Center for Human Imagination make a transformational impact on new research directions, creative partnerships and collaborations, and educational practices for the 21st century. To support Sir Arthur C. Clarke's greatest gift-imagination-visit the Clarke Center website at imagination.ucsd.edu and click the 'SUPPORT THE CENTER' button.
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ViaSat, Inc. (VSAT) delivers fast, secure communications, Internet, and network access to virtually any location for consumers, governments, enterprises, and the military. The company offers fixed and mobile satellite network services including Exede by ViaSat, which features ViaSat-1, the world's highest capacity satellite; service to more than 2,500 mobile platforms, including Yonder Ku-band mobile service; satellite broadband networking systems; and network-centric military communication systems and cybersecurity products for the U.S. and allied governments. ViaSat also offers communication system design and a number of complementary products and technologies. Based in Carlsbad, California, ViaSat employs over 2,900 people in a number of locations worldwide for technology development, customer service, and network operations. Visit www.viasat.com for more information.
About UC San Diego
The University of California, San Diego is a student-centered, research-focused, service-oriented public institution that provides opportunity for all. Recognized as one of the top 15 research universities worldwide, a culture of collaboration sparks discoveries that advance society and drive economic impact. Our students, who learn from Nobel laureates, MacArthur fellows and National Academy members, are committed to public service. For the fourth consecutive year, UC San Diego has been ranked first in the nation based on research, civic engagement and social mobility. We are one campus with multiple pillars of excellence, a top ten public university that is transforming lives, shaping new disciplines and advancing the frontiers of knowledge. Learn more at www.ucsd.edu.