Gayle Wilson

Gayle Wilson

Gayle Wilson

Past president of the Junior League of San Diego (JLSD) 1978-1979

Frequently hailed as a “career volunteer,” Gayle Wilson has spent her life working to ensure children receive the best possible healthcare and educational opportunities. The former First Lady of California and San Diego has particularly made an impact in math and science education, long before STEM was a popular topic. As a teenager, Gayle was nationally recognized for academic excellence as a finalist in the Westinghouse Science Talent Search.

As First Lady of California, she was instrumental in writing legislation that created the California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS), a merit-based program serving over 600 high school students, for which she is Board Chair Emerita.

Beyond her volunteer work with the Junior League, Gayle serves or has served on the board of trustees for the California Institute of Technology and the Center for Excellence in Education, as well as the board of directors for the Sanford-Burnham Institute for Medical Research, the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, Science for Society & the Public, and Gilead Sciences, Inc. She was appointed by President George H.W. Bush as a member of the board of the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Among many honors, she has received the Women International Center’s Living Legacy Award for extraordinary volunteer service and the ARCS Light Award from the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists, of which she is a founding member of the San Diego chapter.

Gayle earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Stanford University and graduated Phi Beta Kappa.

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