Paul and Jo Butterworth

The University of California, Irvine Alumni Association will celebrate 24 accomplished Anteaters at the 2023 Lauds & Laurels ceremony on Oct. 26, bestowing its highest honor, the Extraordinarius award, on alumni couple Paul Butterworth ’74, M.S. ’81 computer science, and Jo Butterworth ’75 social science, for their exemplary service and contributions to the university and community.

“We are delighted to recognize the Butterworths for their exceptional leadership and remarkable dedication to their alma mater,” said Brian Hervey, vice chancellor for university advancement and alumni relations and president of the UCI Foundation. “They not only inspire our current students, but also embody the core values of UCI by demonstrating the potential of education to create meaningful and lasting impact.”

In February, the Butterworths made a $35.5 million estate gift to UCI – the largest alumni bequest ever. Their support will create countless opportunities for students and faculty through awards, scholarships and fellowships, as well as fund new research initiatives and faculty chairs in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences.

“Our experience as students at UCI has had an enduring impact on our lives,” Paul Butterworth said. “Receiving a scholarship was central to my success, and it’s the reason Jo and I passionately believe in supporting education and in the importance of investing in future generations.”

In addition to the couple’s extraordinary philanthropy at UCI, Paul Butterworth holds prominent volunteer leadership roles at the university. He has been a member of the UCI Foundation board of trustees since 2011 and has served on the Dean’s Leadership Council for the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences since 2005.

Paul Butterworth earned a bachelor’s degree in 1974 and a master’s in 1981 in computer science. Jo Butterworth graduated from the School of Social Sciences in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree.

Co-founder and chief technology officer of enterprise software developer Vantiq Inc., Paul Butterworth also co-founded cloud platform development company Emotive and service-oriented architecture management firm AmberPoint, acquired by Oracle in 2010. And he was co-founder and senior vice president of Forte Software and had engineering and technology roles at Oracle, Sun Microsystems and Ingres.

Sixteen other individuals will also be recognized as Distinguished Alumni at the Lauds & Laurels ceremony in October – each representing a different UCI school or unit:

  • Molly Lynch ’79, M.F.A. ’81 – Claire Trevor School of the Arts
  • *Tamera Hatfield ’87 psychology, ’88, M.D. ’04 – School of Biological Sciences
  • Stella Zhang, MBA ’05 – The Paul Merage School of Business
  • Chris Anderson ’22 – Division of Continuing Education
  • Carolyn Brothers ’78 – School of Education
  • Johnny Lincoln, M.S. ’04, Ph.D. ’07 – The Henry Samueli School of Engineering
  • Patricia Dailey, M.A. ’93, Ph.D. ’00, Ph.D. ’02 – School of Humanities
  • Steve Acterman ’86, MBA ’99 – Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences
  • Jeffrey Wachs, J.D. ’12 – School of Law
  • Geraldine Taplin, M.D. ’72 – School of Medicine
  • Jeffrey Vu ’09, M.S.N. ’14 – Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing
  • *Monica Welling ’84 social sciences – School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Nancy Evans ’74, M.S. ’84 – School of Physical Sciences
  • Evelyn Gonzalez ’12 – Program in Public Health
  • Hafsa Kaka ’04 – School of Social Ecology
  • *Michael Marckx ’87 economics – School of Social Sciences

Additional honorees are:

  • Zainab Saadi ’06, M.D. ’13 – Distinguished Young Alumnus
  • *Neel Grover ’92 economics – Outstanding Alumnus Athlete
  • Barbara Finlayson-Pitts – Outstanding Faculty Achievement
  • Andrea Wasserman – Outstanding Staff Achievement
  • *Steven Gong, economics, political science and human biology – Outstanding Undergraduate Student
  • Megan Cole ’18, M.A. ’20 – Outstanding Graduate Student

*We’re proud to congratulate our social sciences alumni who will be recognized for their achievements.

Now in its 52nd year, Lauds & Laurels is UCI’s oldest tradition recognizing outstanding individuals for their service to the community, professional excellence and campus involvement. The event will take place Thursday, Oct. 26, at the Hyatt Regency Irvine. For more information, visit For sponsorship opportunities, contact Jeff Minhas, executive director of national constituent engagement, at

For media inquiries, contact Jessica Arnaldo, UCIAA marketing and communications manager, at

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