Jesse Ante's relationship with CAA began in 1964, his freshman year at Berkeley, when the association offered him a scholarship. He decided right then that someday he would return the favor: "I knew at that time that I would certainly give back to the University because of the support they had given me," he said.
His chance came in 1992, when he signed up for CAA's Student-Alumni Mentor Program. He has participated ever since, and through the years has mentored approximately 100 students.
But his service to Cal students doesn't end there. Ante has been involved in establishing a number of scholarships: the Salvador and Prudencia Ante Leadership Award in honor of his parents; his own Jesse Ante Achievement Award; and scholarships funded by the class of 1968, Pilipino American Alumni Club, California Japanese American Alumni Association, Engineering Alumni Society, and by PG&E, from which he retired in 1999 before moving to the California Public Utilities Commission, where he works today.
Ante has also been highly active in the alumni community, serving on the CAA Board of Directors from 1999 to 2002 and in leadership roles with the Pilipino American Alumni Club, Class of '68 Advisory Board, and California Japanese American Alumni Association while having membership with the Chinese Chapter and the Engineering Alumni Society.
As soon as he graduated, Dick Beahrs demonstrated his commitment to Berkeley's College of Natural Resources by starting the Buck Kingman Fund as a tribute to his late friend.
Over time, Beahrs became increasingly interested in international development and agroforestry, a sustainable farming and land-use system prevalent in some of the poorest regions of the world. By the mid-1980s, the Kingman Fund had grown to $100,000, so Beahrs contacted Cal and inquired about the University's interest in agroforestry.
This soon led to an increasing focus on agroforestry within the College of Natual Resources. Beahrs's closer involvement with CNR led to the founding of the CNR Advisory Board—Beahrs served as its first chair and still sits on the board today. The multidisciplinary program has since trained more than 460 environmental professionals from 90 countries in sustainable development.
Beahrs, who is now retired after a 35-year career as a media executive at Time Warner, says he's more than gotten back what he's given to the University: "I have enjoyed such incredible benefits through the people I've come to know through Berkeley."
When Tuck Coop camped as a child at the Lair of the Golden Bear in the Stanislaus National Forest, he had no idea he'd one day serve as the camp's director—nor did the thought cross his mind when he later brought his own daughters to camp there.
Coop, a fourth-generation Cal grad, learned about the director opening in the late 1990s after leaving the healthcare company where he'd long served as CEO. "It was too early for me to retire," he joked. "I needed to have something else to do." Remembering how valuable his time at the camp was, Coop couldn't let the opportunity pass. He and his wife sold their house in Southern California, where they'd spent the last 26 years, and returned to the East Bay.
After serving as director of the Lair of the Golden Bear from 2000 through 2006, Coop was asked by CAA's board to step in for a few months as interim Executive Director. Those few months turned into five years, during which time Coop focused on strengthening relationships with the University to ensure the organization's continued success.
Throughout his career, Mel Levine has been dedicated to protecting public education in California—at Cal, throughout the UC and CSU systems, and at community colleges. As a congressman from 1983 to 1993 and a member of the California Assembly from 1977 to 1982, he made public education one of his top priorities.
"In both positions, I did everything I could to support to public education in California," Levine said. "That was a role that I thoroughly enjoyed playing during my 16 years in public office."
Recently retired as partner in the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, today Levine co-chairs the California Coalition for Public Higher Education, which backs candidates for legislative office who support funding for public higher education. Levine launched the effort with fellow Cal alum and former state senator Dick Ackerman '64.
Levine's service also extends to the UC Berkeley Board of Trustees, of which he was a member for six years, and the CAA Board of Directors, on which he served from 1974 to 1977. He has been on the Goldman School of Public Policy Dean's Board of Advisers since 2000, and with his wife created the Mel Levine and Connie Bruck Graduate Fellowship Fund, awarded to one graduate student at the Goldman School of Public Policy every year.