This alumnus was a loyal Flem during the Orange Wars, when Fleming and Dabney residents lofted fallen citrus back and forth between the courtyards of their houses. He took karate lessons from master Tsutomu Ohshima, who had founded the oldest American university karate club at Caltech in 1957. On the way to a biology degree cum laude, this alumnus added an unofficial minor in the humanities. In particular, he cites Professor Charles Bures’s teachings in philosophy and psychology as a lasting influence.

After commencement, this alumnus moved east to Massachusetts, where he took a year off from his studies and married his longtime, and formerly long-distance, girlfriend. He went on to earn a doctorate in psychology at Clark University but soon shifted his focus to software engineering.

George Rappolt (BS ’72) and Tabby Rappolt


His career in computing included 15 years at the medical equipment maker Hologic. Much of his work there focused on a scanning machine used to calculate bone density. He recalls converting two core modules of the software from DOS to Windows, “which more or less involved turning the program inside out.” Among many other additions to the software for this machine, he developed code to generate pictures that showed the distribution of bones, muscle, and fat in different colors. These images were put on display in Times Square.

Since he retired in 2013, this alumnus has been developing an app that is “a form of brain training designed to make people happier.” He is active in his church, and, as of press time, he and his wife have built on a 20-year hobby to become co-presidents of their square-dancing club. They also spend time with their four grandchildren, who live close by.

Torchbearer George Rappolt (BS ’72) has elected to provide for Caltech in his estate plans. He feels good about linking his legacy to the Institute’s main products—innovative research and extraordinary alumni. He notes, “The world needs more Techers.”