A Focus on the Margins
April 03, 2023
Credit: Van Urfalian for Caltech. FSRI students tackle advanced mathematics.
Alumna and community volunteer Leigh Engen gives back to strengthen student life and learning.
Leigh Engen (BS '99) still remembers coming to Caltech for prefrosh weekend. It was where she encountered the "coolest people" she had ever met.
"I met students who were enthusiastic about things I had never heard of, or built something it never occurred to me could have been built," she recalls. "I went back home and told my parents I'd never met anyone like the people I got to hang out with that weekend."
Now, as a donor, Engen is dedicated to backing enthusiastic students in ways that can translate to deeper experiences at Caltech and more fulfilling careers after graduation. Through her family's Twenty-Seven Foundation, she has supported the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Outreach (CTLO), the First-Year Success Research Institute (FSRI, previously known as the Freshman Summer Research Institute), and the Graduate Summer Research Institute (GSRI), as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences (GPS).