Robert B. Pasker, a San Francisco State University history graduate who went on to help create the first independent Java company, WebLogic, Inc., has been named San Francisco State University's Alumnus of the Year for 2000 by the San Francisco State University Alumni Association. Pasker will receive his award at SFSU's 99th annual Commencement exercises on May 27 at S.F. State.
"Robert Pasker's story is an inspiration, " said SFSU President Robert A. Corrigan. "He has excelled in two very different worlds -- as an innovator in the world of high tech, and as an ardent student of history here at San Francisco State. His lasting fond memories of his years at SFSU are in considerable measure a tribute to the history faculty who obviously inspired a lifelong appreciation of the discipline. His generosity to the University will help generations of students follow their own dreams of studying history at SFSU."
Two months ago, Pasker and his wife, Laurie Pitman, also one of the founders of WebLogic, gave the university a $2.4 million donation, the largest private individual gift in the University's history.
Pasker, 39, worked as a technologist in the trading/finance industry in New York until 1989, when he moved to San Francisco. In 1990, he enrolled at SFSU as a full-time student in the history department's honors concentration program, from which he received a B.A. in history magna cum laude in 1993. Pasker went on to earn his master's degree in history from Brown University in 1994, after which Pasker and Pitman returned to the Bay Area and resumed professional careers in the high-tech industry. As chief architect of WebLogic, Pasker brought to market WebLogic's market-leading Java application server. WebLogic was acquired by BEA Systems in 1998. Pasker is now founder and chief technical officer for Kenamea, Inc.
"We had many fine alumni to choose from, but Bob Pasker was the clear choice. His demonstrated interest and support to the University spans many years and he's an exemplary role model and mentor for future SFSU alumni," said Kevin Pursglove, president of the SFSU Alumni Association.
The annual Alumnus of the Year award goes to former SFSU students who have gained recognition for significant contributions to their field of work. Pasker joins an illustrious roster of S.F. State alumni to receive the award, including last year's honoree, Yvonne Darlene Cagle, a physician who is one of four African American women to qualify for NASA space flight. In previous years, the S.F. State Alumni Association has honored recording artist Johnny Mathis, stage and film actress Annette Bening, conductor Kent Nagano and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.
Of the total $2.4 million Pasker-Pitman gift, $1 million will establish the Jamie and Phyllis Pasker Endowed Chair in History in honor of Pasker's parents. The endowment will allow SFSU's Department of History to attract a leading historian whose specialty is this nation's constitutional and legal history. Virtually all of the remaining $1.4 million will create an endowment where, in perpetuity, funds will be drawn in support of the history department. Some initial operations funds will be used for student scholarships, for equipping a state-of-the art high technology classroom, and for other pressing departmental needs.
San Francisco State University is a highly diverse campus of 27,000 students and 3,500 faculty and staff. It is among the largest of the 23-campus, nationally recognized California State University.
Public Affairs Offices/Campus News