From the Executive Director: Community Unites to Face Our New Reality

headshot of Cloey Hewlett In this time of uncertainty and need, the Cal Alumni Association (CAA) remains dedicated to Berkeley—and our students and alumni are demonstrating their commitment to supporting the next generation of trailblazers in thoughtful and solution-oriented ways, in spite of the challenges they themselves face.

This spring, 66 Cal alumni volunteered in the selection process for the African American Initiative (AAI) Scholarship. This scholarship helps African American students access a Berkeley education and aims to further Black progress at Cal. It is thanks to our alumni that we proudly welcome 44 recipients this fall—the largest class of AAI scholars to date.

Long-time CAA donor Mary M. Tuncer ’63 gave to the CAA Basic Needs Fund, enabling seven undergraduate Alumni Scholars to obtain technological resources necessary for completing remote instruction and to cover their living expenses during this unprecedented period. When remote instruction began, 39 additional Alumni Scholars were able to travel home thanks to financial support from CAA’s Alumni Scholars Program.

“Our students and alumni are demonstrating their commitment to supporting the next generation of trailblazers in thoughtful and solution-oriented ways, in spite of the challenges they themselves face.”

As the university transitioned to virtual learning and events, CAA similarly restructured several of its programs. In lieu of its usual on-campus Overnight Stay Program (OSP), the student-run Cal Alumni Student Association created a virtual OSP experience for admitted students, offering student perspectives on life at Cal. As part of Berkeley’s virtual Cal Day replacement, Cal Week, I moderated a panel with Kirk Tramble ’93, Thuy Tran ’08, Eloisa Lopez-Valencia ’19, and current student Elijah Hicks ’21 on campus diversity and the Cal student experience. The panelists shared about their own undergraduate journeys and the reasons they would encourage prospective students to choose Cal.

I am proud to support Berkeley Haas and Chief Innovation Officer Rich Lyons in their Berkeley Changemaker initiative. The Berkeley Changemaker presents a unifying, people-oriented vision for our broad Berkeley community. This summer, faculty from fifteen departments and six schools will participate in a first-year course by the same name. The Cal Alumni Association is now collaborating on a creative partnership to involve alumni and students in personifying the Berkeley Changemaker. I firmly believe this initiative has the power to rally our diverse and vibrant campus as one strong and clear voice for good.

In nurturing innovation and leadership, Cal alumni, students, faculty, and staff are persevering through the current crisis to advance the education, research, and inclusion efforts of our community.

Fiat Lux.

signature of Clothilde V Hewlett
Clothilde Hewlett ’76, J.D. ’79
Executive Director

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