By Dana Mathes ’99
You’ve watched the video, you’ve seen the goofy social media posts. But you still need convincing. Here are a few reminders of why the good ol’ Blue & Gold is so darn deserving of your support on Nov. 20.
1. Big Ego
You smugly boycotted your Senior Gift campaign and now regret it.
Admit it. You saw (and then promptly avoided) the tables on Sproul Plaza and in the Cal Student Store with earnest Senior Gift committee members asking you to pledge $20 to help future students. “Where do they find these kids?” you thought. “This isn’t some hoity-toity private school, where everyone is a card-carrying member of a centuries-old glee club, towing the line for the man and preparing for a high-powered, high-paying career. This is Berkeley! Home of the rebels and iconoclasts. I’m saving my money for a year of hitchhiking through the Americas, followed by a stint as a beleaguered English teacher at the state penitentiary.” But looking back now, you realize you really just applied that money to getting drunk on cheap beer at the Bear’s Lair the night after your last final. It’s time to make good.
2. Big Gratitude
You always wondered who paid for that scholarship that changed your life forever, and never thanked them.
Once upon a time, you were a hyper-stressed nerd wandering the halls of Sproul desperate for an explanation of your financial aid package. After finally confirming you’d be able to buy books and Blondie’s pizza for the next semester, you were truly and utterly grateful, but too mentally exhausted to figure out whom to thank. You now realize what a tremendous difference that scholarship made to your life. Well, now’s your chance to pay that gift forward, buddy. Give to a scholarship and feel good.
3. Big Help
You used BearWalk, or the Student Learning Center, or the Cal Career Center, or all of the above.
Remember that night you stayed too late at the library and realized you needed someone to walk you back to your dorm? Or that statistics class you passed thanks to an infinitely patient tutor? Or that perfect work-study job you spotted on a bulletin board at the career center? All of these programs, which help students navigate the big world of Berkeley, are supported by The Cal Fund. Plus programs that are transforming the undergraduate experience today. Now that’s something worth supporting.
4. Big Opportunity
UC Berkeley still serves nearly as many low-income college students as all 12 Ivy League schools — combined.
32% of current undergraduates come from families who earn less than $45,000 a year. And 25% of freshmen are the first in their families to attend college. Many colleges claim to change lives. Berkeley actually does it. That’s pretty darn cool.
5. Big Pride
It’s kind of sweet knowing the top public university in the world is your alma mater.
Ranking after ranking confirms: UC Berkeley isn’t just the top public university in the world, it’s one of the greatest universites in the world, period. You might not have fully appreciated that as a student, but the older you get (and more jobs you apply for) the more you realize how much of that bright light reflects back on you. How about giving a little to keep it that way? Fiat Lux!
6. Big Axe to Grind
You know where that shiny emblem of victory really belongs.
It’s no coincidence that Big Give is planned for Big Game week. Give for the hope! Give for the camaraderie! Give for the thrill of victory! Give to remember The Play! Give because, no matter what happens on Big Game Day, you will always be a Bear. And you will always want to chop down the Stanford Tree.
7. Big Heart
It’s the right thing to do.
If Berkeley taught you anything, it taught you the value of public service. After all, no other campus has sent more alumni into the Peace Corps, and one of our most popular minors trains students to improve the lives of people living in poverty around the world. Our engineers are building robotic legs that help people walk and our microbiologists are developing drugs that may one-day eradicate malaria. Berkeley students and faculty dream of changing the world, and you can help them do it. We can’t think of any better reason to make a gift.
Posted on November 19, 2014 - 5:29pm