It's a beautiful world down there, but its future is far from guaranteed. During their repeated visits to ocean waters across the globe, the Holos have learned about the problems facing marine habitats, including the dangers of plastics and overfishing.
So they decided to take action, giving $1 million to support the Center for Ocean Health at UCSC's Long Marine Lab, a premier research facility for coastal conservation, policy, and research.
Built entirely with private support, the center opened in 2001 with 23,000 square feet of labs, offices, and classrooms, providing much-needed facilities for faculty, researchers, and students.
A growing number of researchers and students have been attracted to the center, leading to a pressing need for additional space.
The Holos met as undergraduates at UCSC in 1987. They credit their time at UCSC with their success in life as well as their environmental consciousness.
"We feel a sense of wanting to give back to a place that gave so much to us," says Rob Holo (Crown '87, history), who is a partner in the law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
The Holos are raising their two children with an appreciation and passion for science and the environment. Their son is attending CalTech in the fall. Their daughter is a junior in high school and has attended summer science camps in the U.S. and around the world.
The Center for Ocean Health expansion will provide 16,000 square feet of additional facilities for interdisciplinary research and education focused on marine conservation science and policy. The total cost of the planned expansion is $12 million.
The new lecture room will be named the Holo Family Lecture Room.
"We very much wanted to contribute to education, especially to UC," says Christine Holo (Oakes '90, biology). "We hope it will serve an entire generation of students."