Oct. 14, 2004
BERKELEY - Bob Karpe, an All-Coast tackle on Cal's 1951 Rose Bowl team and one of the nation's leading real estate executives for the past four decades, has been named the 2004 recipient of the Glenn T. Seaborg Award.
The award, named after the former University of California chancellor and 1959 Nobel Prize-winning scientist and given to a past Cal football player for his career accomplishments, is presented annually by the California Letterman's Club (formerly the Sons of California), Cal's football alumni association.
Karpe, the University's class valedictorian in 1952, starred as a two-time All-Coast selection on Pappy Waldorf's football teams that posted a combined 17-3-1 record during his junior and senior seasons of 1951-52. The Bakersfield, Calif., product has gone on to enjoy a remarkable business career in real estate.
He has been chairman of the board of the Karpe Real Estate Center in Bakersfield since 1976, while also serving as president of the Government National Mortgage Association in Washington, D.C., from 1981-84 and real estate commissioner for the State of California from 1971-75. While in Washington, Karpe was credited with having a positive influence on financing low- and middle-income housing. Earlier as the state's commissioner, he was the driving force in establishing a "color blind" real estate industry.
"This award is the single most important honor that can be given to a former Cal football player," said Jack Hart, current chairman of the Glenn T. Seaborg Award Committee and ex-Bear great. "The real beauty of this award is that Chancellor Seaborg loved and supported athletics, and truly cared about us as athletes, people and students. Bob is so worthy of this honor."
Karpe, who earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Cal in 1952, has distinguished himself in many areas of his life.
Professionally, he has been named California Realtor of the Year, president of the Big "C" Society (an organization comprised of former Cal student-athletes), president of the California Real Estate Association and director of the National Association of Realtors.
His civic involvement in Bakersfield has included serving as past director of the YMCA, founder of the Bakersfield Big Brothers organization, director of the Statewide UC Alumni Association, and the first president for Pappy's Boys (an organization supporting academics and athletics at California). At nearby Cal State Bakersfield, Karpe once served as a trustee for the university, and continues to underwrite full scholarships to local minority students.
Established in 1995, the Seaborg Award has been presented to 10 recipients. Past winners include:
1996--John Najarian, M.D.