On Saturday, June 19th at 6:30 pm, the class of 2004 from The Henry Samueli School of Engineering left behind college years, walking one step closer to their future goals, aspirations and dreams. A total of 640 students received degrees for the academic year 2003-2004, including an estimated 188 M.S. degrees and 36 Ph.D. degrees.
This year's commencement, held in the Bren Events Center, included an address from William J. Link, Managing Director of Versant Ventures. Link has a proven record of building and operating large, successful medical product companies. With extensive knowledge of medical devices and drug delivery, particularly in ophthalmology, his operating experience spans more than 23 years in general management in the healthcare industry. Perhaps his greatest operational success was as founder, chairman and CEO of Chiron Vision, a subsidiary of Chiron Corporation specializing in ophthalmic surgical products, which was later sold to Bausch and Lomb in late 1997 for $310 million. Prior to Chiron Vision, Link founded and served as president of American Medical Optics, a division of American Hospital Supply Corporation sold to Allergan in 1986 for $165 million.
Before entering the healthcare industry, Link was an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Prior to co- founding Versant Ventures, he served as general partner at Brentwood Venture Capital, where he invested in a number of early-stage companies, including C & C Vision (private), FeRx (private), Genyx (private), IntraLase (private), IntraTherapeutics (sold), OraMetrix (private) and Refractec (private). His Versant investments include AcuFocus (private), Cameron Health (private) and Glaukos (private).
Link earned his bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees in mechanical engineering from Purdue University. In February 2002, he was named Engineer of the Year by the Orange County Engineering Council.
The Henry Samueli School of Engineering is comprised of five departments: biomedical engineering, chemical engineering and materials science, civil and environmental engineering, electrical engineering and computer science, and mechanical and aerospace engineering. The school is also home to numerous research centers, including the Center for Pervasive Communications and Computing, Integrated Nanosystems Research Facility, National Fuel Cell Research Center and Center for Biomedical Engineering.
For additional information on 2004 commencement, please visit: http://www.commencement.uci.edu/