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UC Merced Welcomes Four New Board of Trustee Members

August 30, 2013
Newest trustees bring an array of interests and experiences to the university’s board, primarily charged with gathering private gifts to support teaching, research and public service

University of California, Merced, welcomes four new members to the UC Merced Foundation Board of Trustees.

Representing an expansive and influential network, the newest members are: Gary Kremen, Silicon Valley entrepreneur and founder of; Christine Long, Merced almond processor and agricultural industry leader; Kevin Sweeney, senior vice president and director of sales for Wells Fargo; and Eric Wright, former San Francisco 49er and head of the San Francisco 49er alumni association. They are elected to three-year terms.

“Chancellor Leland and I are looking forward with great anticipation to working with our newest board members. They each bring unique perspectives and will be great assets,” said Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Relations Kyle Hoffman, who also serves as vice president of the board.

A national board that is responsible for raising awareness and funds to support the university’s mission of teaching, research and public service, the UC Merced Foundation has raised $87.5 million since the campus’s inception in 1998 to fund a range of key initiatives.

A few beneficiaries of foundation support include the Joseph Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center, which serves as the campus recreation center and home to all campus recreation programs, and the Bright Success Center, which exists to provide academic advising and learning support services to students. In addition, countless scholarships and research efforts have been funded.

Kremen is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and founder of multiple companies, including and Sociogramics, a Silicon Valley-based company that helps businesses with online security and fraud resolution. His primary focus is on engineering, especially entrepreneurship, though he is also interested in solar and water research.

“What attracted me to UC Merced is the possibility to contribute to the early growth of the first research university of the 21st century,” said Kremen.

Long is co-founder and vice president of Hilltop Ranch, one of the largest private processors of almonds and has previously served as chair of the Almond Board of California. As a long-time supporter of the campus, her involvement has included facilitation of student internship opportunities, serving as host to agricultural industry events highlighting UC Merced, and philanthropic support.

Sweeney is senior vice president and director of sales for Wells Fargo’s Wealth Management Group for the state of California and is responsible for sales management and oversight and coaching managers throughout the state. Before his career in finance, Sweeney played professional football for the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers in the late 1980s.

Wright is a former player for the San Francisco 49ers and runs the organization’s alumni association. He has appeared twice in both the Pro Bowl and Super Bowls XVI and XIX. A member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Wright’s interests in student affairs and athletics provide great perspective and knowledge base to the board.

The 58-member Board of Trustees will hold three full board meetings and numerous meetings of its five committees over the 2013-14 year. 

Lorena Anderson

Senior Writer and Public Information Representative

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