The threat of a spring rain could not dampen the spirits of attendees at the annual Torchbearers Appreciation Luncheon on April 13. Nearly 100 Torchbearers, students, faculty, and staff came together at the Athenaeum to enjoy lunch and celebrate a community of people who care deeply about Caltech.

“Through your generosity, through your care, through your love of Caltech, you are creating the future," said President Thomas F. Rosenbaum, holder of the Sonja and William Davidow Presidential Chair and professor of physics, who hosted the event with his wife, Katherine T. Faber, the Simon Ramo Professor of Materials Science. "Because of your investments, Caltech will continue to thrive, and the world will be a better place.”

Senior Gabi Twombly, a computer science major, thanked attendees for their dedication. “Your generosity has a profound impact on the lives of students,” she said. “It not only fosters innovation and excellence within our academic programs, but also helps cultivate a collaborative and inclusive campus environment.”

Aaron Ames, the Bren Professor of Mechanical and Civil Engineering and Control and Dynamical Systems, talked about the trepidation many people feel about artificial intelligence and robots. Ames, however, has a more sanguine outlook. 

He showed a video of a paraplegic patient standing up and walking—without crutches—using only exoskeleton robotic technology. “If we handle the power of robotics responsibly, we can do good things with it,” Ames said, “and that is really the goal.”

From top: Charles Wheatley (BS ’56) and Joan Embery with Professor Katherine T. Faber and President Thomas F. Rosenbaum; Caltech seniors Suchitra Dara, James Chen, Sean Chang, Rahul Chawlani, Gabi Twombly, and Ankita Nandi; Steve Wicklund with Ankita and Gabi.