Joan and Irwin M. Jacobs have received the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy for 2015, the Carnegie Corp. of New York announced Aug. 25.
The medal is considered the most coveted award in philanthropy. The Jacobses have been invited to join other 2015 winners for a private ceremony marking the award on Oct. 15 at the New York Public Library.
The Jacobses have been benefactors to many organizations inside and outside of San Diego, including Cornell NYC Tech, the Jewish Community Foundation, the La Jolla Playhouse, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the San Diego Public Library, the San Diego Symphony and the University of California, San Diego, among others.
Irwin Jacobs was a co-founder of Linkabit and Qualcomm Inc. Since 2006 he has been chairman of the board at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and he served as chairman of the National Academy of Engineering from 2008 to 2012.
Joan Klein Jacobs has supported community and arts organizations in the region since the family moved to La Jolla in 1966.
The Carnegie Medal honors those “who embody the spirit of giving set forth by Andrew Carnegie, each having a significant and lasting impact on a particular field, nation or the international community.” Carnegie made his fortune in steel, then sold the business and turned to philanthropy, giving most of his fortune away by the time he died in 1919. One of his Carnegie libraries once stood in San Diego.
Carnegie Medal winners for 2015 also include Paul G. Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, and David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-CEO of the Carlyle Group.