Honoring a beloved mentor
“Jack Xu’s generous gift will help support the education of a new generation of information leaders. With some luck and hard work, we hope they’ll be as successful as Jack has been.”
The lifelong impact of an influential mentor is impossible to quantify. Just ask Jack Xu, who came to Berkeley in 1991 from China’s Sun Yat-Sen University to pursue his doctorate at what is now called the School of Information (I School). He soon found a friend in Professor Yale Braunstein (pictured), a scholar of the economics of information and communications industries.
“UC Berkeley was the perfect place for me,” says Xu. “My years there prepared me for the challenges of heading up large organizations in the fast-changing world of information technology.”
Although Xu left Berkeley before he could complete his Ph.D. to join a search engine company — becoming a leader at tech companies including eBay, Cisco, and now SINA Corporation in China — he reestablished his ties to campus when he learned of Professor Braunstein’s death in 2012. Xu made a meaningful gift to the Yale M. Braunstein Fellowship Fund, which provides critical support to the I School’s graduate students.
Braunstein guided students through Berkeley’s complex requirements and advocated tirelessly for their welfare. He also went out of his way to help international students such as Xu — even welcoming them into his home for dinners and holidays. A lasting tribute to the beloved professor, Xu’s gift ensures that future students will continue to receive this kind of academic and personal encouragement.