Distinguished Achievement Award 2014: Francis Lee '74

Francis Lee

Francis Lee is the recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award for exemplary conduct and achievement. He was only 16 when his family moved from Hong Kong to Sacramento and enrolled him into high school without his knowing English. That did not deter him. He was accepted into UC Davis and held three jobs concurrently while earning his degree. He graduated with honors and went to work for Synaptics, Inc., a Santa Clara-based company that develops gesture-based computing sensors that are used in such products as laptop touch pads and smartphones touch screens. After two decades, Lee became the company’s Chief Executive Officer in 1998 and built the company to be a worldwide leader of touch screen technology. Lee returns regularly to the UC Davis campus to mentor students and serves on the College of Engineering’s Dean’s Executive Committee.