As a UC Berkeley alumna, I find it more critical than ever to uplift today’s students. I remember sitting among new graduates, their families and friends, and Cal faculty and staff in the cold wind and pouring rain at UC Berkeley’s commencement celebration in May. It wasn’t just the weather that made the moment stick in my mind; it was also listening to Tiffany Moore ’19 sing “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” from The Sound of Music as it stormed.
Before the ceremony, I had the chance to talk to Tiffany about her time at Cal and hopes for the future. I felt fortunate that I was able to offer her guidance in those final moments before she walked the stage to become an alumna.
Through my work at the Cal Alumni Association (CAA), I have had many opportunities to mentor students through small moments like these, as well as larger networking events—like the student support programs CAA hosts throughout the year.
Last month, as new students arrived on campus for Golden Bear Orientation, CAA’s Berkeley Network partnered with the UC Berkeley Career Center to invite alumni to network with transfer students. For many of these students, this alumni-student mixer was the first opportunity they had to connect with professionals in their prospective career industries and hone their interests. Later this fall, CAA’s Alumni Scholars Program will host workshops and community-building events where Alumni Scholars can develop peer mentorships and expand their support networks as they navigate the challenges of Cal.
CAA and all Cal alumni hold a privileged duty. We know what challenges students face on campus and recognize how today’s sociopolitical climate is reducing student resources. As alumni who have benefited from our Cal education, it behooves us to support the next generation and instill them with the hope that they can succeed. In time, the students we have mentored will take charge. And when that day comes, they will be able to accomplish even more than they would have without us.
At commencement, as I listened to Tiffany sing about climbing mountains, I felt the joy and hope of our newest alumni encouraging me to continue my work, and CAA’s work, for all future Golden Bears.
Clothilde Hewlett ’76, J.D. ’79
Posted on September 17, 2019 - 8:00am