In 2022, the Cal Alumni Association celebrated its 150th year. Since 1872, CAA has grown and transformed while maintaining its mission of connecting alumni to UC Berkeley and supporting current students along their journeys.
As we look back at 2022, here are the ways that the Cal community and the Cal Alumni Association embodied our anniversary themes of community, purpose, achievement, and change.
CAA has been rooted in the value of community since “the twelve apostles” chartered it so that alumni and students could reconnect and engage with UC Berkeley. This year, CAA provided opportunities for Cal alumni to foster community and connect with UC Berkeley through the Lair of the Golden Bear, Cal Discoveries Travel, Alumni Chapters, and related events.
The Lair Is Bear Territory
The Lair of The Golden Bear is not just a camp, but a destination where Cal alumni, friends, and families can come together for vacations, retreats, and events. In 2022, the Lair expanded to include ten fully enclosed cabins that are suited to year-round weather conditions. The Lair plans to continue its developments by adding five more cabins in 2023 and a conference center by 2025. Whether people want to rent a cabin for a family trip or host a retreat for their organization, these expansions allow more people to enjoy the unique Lair community throughout the year. As the Lair continues to expand, so does its ability to help connect the Cal community and create memories that will last for generations.
In 2022, CAA returned to more in-person events. This August, the Alumni Scholars Program hosted its first in-person Incoming Scholars Orientation retreat since 2019 at the Lair to welcome the new cohort of The Achievement Award Program (TAAP) Scholars. TAAP scholars attended workshops and engaged in activities with their peers all weekend long. Returning to in-person events allows CAA to provide even more opportunities for people to come together and strengthen their connection to UC Berkeley.
Travel the World with Cal Discoveries
This year, the world adjusted to the “new normal” as many opportunities shut down by COVID reopened. Cal alums were eager to travel, and CAA’s Cal Discoveries Travel program addressed this interest by providing educational world-travel experiences. Alums traveling with this program have the opportunity to connect with each other and simultaneously foster greater connections to UC Berkeley. The Cal Discoveries Travel program presented Cal alumni with the travel opportunities they sought in 2022, including its popular London Theatre trip. As we enter 2023, Cal Discoveries Travel looks forward to creating space for UC Berkeley alums and friends to travel and learn together.
Since 1872, the Cal Alumni Association has striven to serve the Cal community and strengthen alumni’s relationship with UC Berkeley. Here’s what we did this past year.
Scholarships Pave the Way
As of 2022, CAA’s Alumni Scholars Program has established six different scholarships that recognize a diverse set of UC Berkeley undergraduate students from various backgrounds and life experiences.
In 2022, the Cal Alumni Association awarded the Native American Scholarship to its second cohort of recipients. This scholarship provides Native American students with financial support to promote retention and encourage admits to choose UC Berkeley.
CAA’s scholarships provide students with financial support and celebrate these students’ achievements. Eric Esparza ’22, one of our TAAP scholars, reflected on his journey to UC Berkeley, “How did I deal with the obstacles before me? I overcame it by being open-minded.” In 2022, the Alumni Scholars Program celebrated its largest graduating cohort of Achievement Award Program scholars. The 2022 TAAP scholars’ average graduation rate exceeded UC Berkeley’s graduation rate.
It is a well-known fact that Cal alums have a knack for achieving greatness. In doing so, UC Berkeley’s legacy of excellence continues, and CAA provides the support needed for alums to achieve great things.
UC Berkeley Remains on Top
UC Berkeley has consistently topped university ranking lists in a variety of areas, and this year was no exception. In 2022, US News & World Report listed UC Berkeley as the number one public university in the country and the world. Based on Forbes’ 2022 list of America’s Top Colleges, UC Berkeley ranked as the best public university and ranked second for the best university overall. Forbes credited UC Berkeley’s support of low-income students as one of the main reasons why Berkeley remains in a top spot for college ranking. CAA’s own Alumni Scholars Program has played a critical role in uplifting students’ lives through scholarships to support students from underrepresented, first-generation, and low-income backgrounds.
Celebrating Personal Achievement
In true UC Berkeley fashion, Berkeley alums, researchers, and professors were awarded Nobel Prizes in 2022.
- Carolyn Bertozzi Ph.D. ’93 received the 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
- Svante Pääbo, a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley, received the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
- John Clauser, postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, received the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics.
The world is constantly transforming, and CAA and UC Berkeley have embraced positive change to grow and support the community.
Introducing the Cal Alumni Mentors Program
This year, CAA launched the Cal Alumni Mentors program, a new mentorship program that matches alumni with undergraduate students who are first-generation, low-income, underrepresented, or underserved.* CAA created the Cal Alumni Mentors program in recognition of the changing demographics of the Cal student population. By providing students with resources, networking opportunities, and support, the program works to address educational inequalities. The Alumni Mentors Program is just one of the new additions to CAA’s range of programs that allows alums to make a difference for Cal students and alumni. CAA looks forward to the continued growth of the Cal Alumni Mentors program.
New Campus Initiatives
In an effort to expand the campus and its programs, UC Berkeley began construction on the new Gateway building during fall of 2022. This building will be the home of Computing, Data Science, and Society (CDSS) education and research programs as well as provide students and faculty with more resources to respond to developing societal changes, such as climate change. If the CDSS division is approved to be turned into a college, it will be the first college introduced to UC Berkeley in 50 years.
Telling UC Berkeley’s Story
Through the years, California magazine has highlighted stories about UC Berkeley and its people. In 2022, the magazine shed light on some of the conversations taking place in the Cal community, including the renaming of Kroeber Hall and UC Berkeley’s history as a land-grant school. While these articles demonstrate how UC Berkeley has responded to calls for change, another article reflecting on gender equity in sports after 50 years of Title IX examines how much work still needs to be done. These were just some of the stories that appeared in this year’s California, which continues to be a platform to inform Cal alumni and tell UC Berkeley’s story.
2022 was a fast-paced and monumental year for the Cal Alumni Association and UC Berkeley. We celebrated 150 years of the Cal Alumni Association, new programs, and achievements of UC Berkeley alumni and students. This year has also seen existing programs expanded to better support our growing community. Through all the changes, CAA continues to uphold its purpose of serving the Cal community. Here’s to many more years of community, purpose, achievement, and change—Go Bears!
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*CAA has identified Black/African/African American, Chicanx/Latinx, Native American/Alaska Native, Southeast Asian, Pacific Islander, and LGBTQ+ as underrepresented and/or underserved groups on campus.