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A Letter from the Executive Director | Summer 2019

August 19, 2019

We’re getting older—and that’s great news! This year, the Cal Alumni Association’s Alumni Scholars Program celebrates 85 years of support for the best and brightest in the Cal community. Thanks to the generous support of alumni and our community, we’re awarding more scholarships, engaging more students in programs designed to ensure their success, and making it possible for a generation of students to attend UC Berkeley.

And we’re getting better. The Cal Alumni Association (CAA) is a unique organization. CAA is a private, independent, nonprofit entity. We serve talented, highly qualified students through a portfolio of scholarships and programs that allow them to afford an education at Cal. I am so proud of what we do.

While we are separate from the university, we partner with campus to ensure deserving students have the chance to experience Cal. We began this partnership almost a century ago in 1934 with The Leadership Award, UC Berkeley’s oldest merit-based scholarship. Recognized as one of the most prestigious awards at Berkeley, this award now offers 650 scholarships each year to students who demonstrate innovative leadership, a passion for public service, and a vision to measurably impact the world.

This year, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Achievement Award Program (TAAP). TAAP engages talented students with financial need who display a deep commitment to community. Two decades ago, former Berkeley chancellor Robert Berdahl led initiatives to increase outreach to underserved and underrepresented students. In response to the chancellor’s initiatives, CAA board members Dr. Michael Trevino ’89 and Alfredo Terrazas ’74, along with Elizabeth Ramirez, Joani Carpenter ’67, and others, created The Achievement Award Program.

TAAP continues to expand. In 2018, under the umbrella of TAAP, the Cal Alumni Association launched the TAAP Diversity Scholarship, which provides scholarships and support to high-achieving, low-income underrepresented and/or minority undergraduate students. The TAAP Diversity Scholarship will deepen our support for high-achieving, underserved students who encounter significant financial obstacles to gaining a Berkeley education. Mary Tuncer ’63 gave the first of two major gifts to TAAP in 2017, allowing CAA to effectively double the number of 2018 TAAP scholarship recipients. In 2018, Mary donated an additional $1 million to TAAP. The Kaya and Mary Tuncer Achievement Award furthers our support for high-achieving, low-income underrepresented and/or minority students at UC Berkeley.

We continue to build. Like our scholars, we aspire to be ever better, ever achieving. In addition to receiving financial aid, TAAP Scholars become part of a program that provides a supportive community to ensure their success at the number one public university in the world.

There is so much that CAA offers its students and alumni. I am committed to continuing to build on the CAA legacy, and have faith that your support will fuel my passion. All of this wonderful success happens because our alumni support our mission, believe in our students, and provide the wisdom, work, and financial support to ensure another 85 years of extraordinary achievement.

Go Bears, and Fiat Lux!

Clothilde Hewlett ’76, J.D. ’79
Executive Director