On March 4, the 2015 Making College Count Celebration celebrated the Meritus community which has enabled over 600 low-income youth in San Francisco to benefit from significant investments in their futures. The Meritus Celebration, supported by Honorary Event Chair and co-founder of Accel Partners Jim Swartz, traditionally recognizes a member of the community who exemplifies achievement that is possible through higher education and validates the difference that scholarships and mentoring can make in a person’s life. At the 2015 Celebration, Meritus recognized University of California President Janet Napolitano with the 2015 Inspiration Award. Her leadership personifies Meritus values: persistence, academic scholarship, and contributions to the community.
Janet Napolitano began her tenure as President of the University of California in September 2013. She is a distinguished public servant with a record of leading large, complex organizations at the federal and state levels. She served as Secretary of Homeland Security from 2009-13, as Governor of Arizona from 2003-09, as Attorney General of Arizona from 1998-2003, and as U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona from 1993-97. Before that, she practiced at the law firm of Lewis & Roca in Phoenix, where she became a partner in 1989. She began her career in 1983 as a clerk for Judge Mary M. Schroeder of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.