New UC Davis chancellor
Gary May (M.S.’88, Ph.D.’91 EECS), the dean of Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering, will become the seventh chancellor of UC Davis, after a unanimous vote of the UC Regents in February.
May, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, has been at Georgia Tech for nearly three decades, most recently as dean of the College of Engineering, which graduates more engineers than any other college in the United States.
May said it was Star Trek, Lego and Erector sets, comic books and science fiction that sparked his early interest in the STEM fields, one that, combined with his own drive, led him to mentors and role models who were crucial to his success.
He received his B.S. in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech before coming to Berkeley. In 2010, May was named Electrical Engineering Distinguished Alumnus by the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences.
“In my classes and early in my career, it always concerned me how few people like me there were,” May says. “By that I don’t mean smart or determined or curious people. I mean African Americans, and people of color in general, and also women. That’s when I became interested in finding ways to ensure equal access to education and opportunity. We need to nurture talent, for the good of the individual and for the benefit of us all.”