A Minute with Friends : Dan and Vicky Erickson

Dan and Vicky Erickson, Caltech Y Board Chair 16-18 (Dan) and Newsletter Editor (Vicky)

Dan and Vicky have been married and living in the Pasadena area for 48 years. They met performing melodramas in Colorado during the summer of '68 with a theater group from Southern California. They have two sons and one grandson. "The Y chromosome runs strong in this family."

Dan spent most of his youth on the peninsula south of San Francisco. The area now commonly known as “Silicone Valley" no longer feels like home to him and he considers the area around Pasadena to be his home town now. Vicky spent her school years in Orange County.

Dan is a proud old-school nerd. He enjoys reading science fiction, working puzzle games like Sudoku, playing a Dungeons and Dragons variant called "Warlock" that was developed at Caltech, and using his computer to work on combinatorial geometry. Vicky is an avid reader and enjoys making unique costume jewelry to sell at science fiction conventions. Together, they like exploring new activities. For a while, they dabbled in middle eastern music. They performed in coffee houses, Vicky on the oud and Dan on the doumbek!

Dan worked most of his career at JPL as a software systems engineer. He worked on many missions including Viking, Voyager, Galileo, MER, and MSL. He received NASA Awards of Excellence for both technical accomplishment and leadership. Vicky worked as a reporter and editor for a local newspaper, acquiring the nickname of "Scoop." Vicky spent the latter part of her career in a venture capital firm researching and often debunking claims made by early technology firms that were seeking startup funding.

Dan is an alumnus of Caltech (B. S. Math, Blacker 1967; PhD. Math and Econ 1974). He began supporting the Caltech Y through the United Way, because he empathized with the pressure and isolation felt by many students and wanted to help them broaden their perspective. He joined the Board in 2005. Vicky (Scoop) took over as editor of the Caltech Y newsletter following the tenure of the Hastrups, who founded the newsletter.

They have enjoyed some great speakers at Friends Dinners. If they could invite anyone (living or dead) to a dinner it would be the chemist Linus Pauling as he would be fascinated with the medical engineering going on at Caltech and excited by the student engagement in the world.

The Friends are the primary supporters of the Caltech Y. It is through generous contributions of our Friends that the Y is able to continue its long-standing mission of reaching out to the Caltech community with fresh ideas, student programming and active community service. To find out more please visit www.caltechy.org/support-us or contact us at caltechy@caltech.edu.

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