April 11, 2012

Qualcomm donates $1.5 million to Salk in honor of trucking pioneer

Salk News

Qualcomm donates $1.5 million to Salk in honor of trucking pioneer

LA JOLLA, CA—In memory of Don Schneider, former president, CEO and chairman of Schneider National, Qualcomm has donated $1.5 million to establish the Don Schneider Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship at the Salk Institute. The fellowship will endow a postdoctoral position in Schneider’s name in perpetuity and enable the Salk Institute to continue hiring the world’s best scientists to conduct biological research that impacts humanity.

Schneider died January 13 of this year after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 76 years old.

“Don was a trendsetter in the industry, and his belief in the merits of advancing the integration of technology into transportation and logistics continues to benefit drivers, customers and fleet operators today,” said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated. “Qualcomm is proud to continue Don’s legacy through the donation of $1.5 million in his name to the Salk Institute.”

In 1988, San Diego based Qualcomm Incorporated launched OmniTRACS, a satellite based data communications system for the transportation industry that revolutionized how truck fleet operators tracked and monitored their vehicles in the field.

Although Qualcomm was still a young company, Schneider made a bold move and became an early adopter of Qualcomm’s new technology. Schneider was a visionary and became the first trucking company to install a two-way satellite communication and tracking system in its trucks, ushering in a new era for the industry.

“I was fortunate to have met, worked with, and learned from Don during the very early days of our company,” said Irwin Mark Jacobs, board chairman, Salk Institute, and founding chairman and CEO Emeritus, Qualcomm Incorporated. “It is a rare privilege to have had the opportunity to know an individual who modeled kindness, intelligence, integrity, philanthropy, compassion and outstanding business leadership.”

Schneider was born in 1935, the year his father Al sold the family car to buy his truck. Don began with the company in the early 1950s, working as a mechanics helper and then as a driver. He became president of the company in 1976 and helped it grow to one of the largest truckload carriers in the nation with $3.1 billion in annual revenue.

Schneider is survived by his wife of 53 years, Pat, five children, 13 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and 18,222 members of the Schneider National Trucking family around the world.

The Don Schneider Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship at the Salk Institute will support scientific research in the areas of molecular biology, genetics and neurosciences.

About the Salk Institute for Biological Studies:

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is one of the world’s preeminent basic research institutions, where internationally renowned faculty probe fundamental life science questions in a unique, collaborative, and creative environment. Focused both on discovery and on mentoring future generations of researchers, Salk scientists make groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of cancer, aging, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and infectious diseases by studying neuroscience, genetics, cell and plant biology, and related disciplines.

Faculty achievements have been recognized with numerous honors, including Nobel Prizes and memberships in the National Academy of Sciences. Founded in 1960 by polio vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk, M.D., the Institute is an independent nonprofit organization and architectural landmark.

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