CAA Announcements

Xavier Serrato: One of TAAP’s “Founding 15”

Growing up in Los Angeles, Xavier Serrato ’04 knew that going to college might be a long shot. He was raised by his mom, who emigrated from Mexico and cleaned houses to support Xavier and his two sisters. Beginning at age 14, Xavier worked to help put food on the table for his family.

Xavier was an excellent student, but the cost of a college education was daunting. “College seemed impossible,” says Serrato, who is now the founder of two tech companies. “The question was always on my mind—how am I going to pay for college?”

Remembering Shirley Conner ’48, Cal Alumni Association President 1981–1983

We are saddened to announce that Shirley Conner ’48, a changemaker and leader in the Cal community, passed away on October 4, 2019. Conner’s loss is felt deeply by all those who were lucky enough to cross paths with her, as she touched the lives of countless Golden Bears throughout her service to UC Berkeley.

A Life-Changing Commitment to Community Service

Growing up in Norwalk, in Southern California, Gabriela Galicia ’09 knew she was college-bound, but assumed she would attend a school nearby. Then during her junior year of high school, while participating in a program for high-achieving students from low-income, first-generation college families, she went on a college tour of the Cal campus.

Jesse Ante: The TAAP Ambassador

Jesse Ante ’68, M.S. ’70 just can’t seem to say no. And The Achievement Award Program can’t thank him enough.

Jesse, as a first-generation student at UC Berkeley’s School of Engineering, was able to attend Cal in part because he was awarded a Cal Alumni Association (CAA) scholarship. In gratitude for the opportunity, Jesse has become one of the Achievement Award Program’s most generous and effective ambassadors, endowing scholarships and convincing others to follow suit.

Bridging the Gap Between Home and Cal

People never expected much of Itzel Cortes Tena ’18 where she grew up, she recalls. She grew up in Salinas, California, a predominantly agricultural community where endless fields surround the center of town. Her mother works in the fields, and her father works in a packing plant.

Hitting the Ground Running

Aaron Smith founded his first nonprofit as a freshman at Cal. He couldn’t have done it without TAAP.

LGBTQ+ Living History at Berkeley

In a six-part series, we highlight a few of the moments, movements, and people that made their mark on Cal’s LGBTQ+ history. We move through the decades, beginning in an era of secrecy and continuing through today.

Cal Bears, Three Generations Deep

“Kirk is going to Cal,” Thomas Tramble ’71, C.Esing ’72 says, from the moment his son Kirk was born; setting in motion a new legacy of Trambles at Cal. Thomas continuously exposed Kirk to Cal, bringing him onto campus and to events. Eventually, Kirk ’93 got his degree in electrical engineering and computer science, and did the same with his children. Twenty-five years later, Kirk’s son Gabriel ’18, earned his degree in media studies. Gabriel says if he has children, he definitely would want them to come to Cal.

A TAAP Lifer: Michael Trevino ’89

Michael Trevino ’89 was a founding member of the task force that created The Achievement Award Program (TAAP) and has been one of program’s biggest advocates in the 20 years since. Michael’s passion for TAAP is personal: if TAAP was in place at UC Berkeley when he was a student here, he would have been a likely recipient.

Celebrating Our LGBTQ+ Community at the Oakland Pride Parade

On Sunday, September 8, 2019, more than 500 Cal alumni, faculty, students, and friends joined together at the annual Oakland LGBTQ+ Pride Parade and Festival. For the third year in a row, the Cal Alumni Association (CAA) partnered with UC Berkeley’s Gender Equity Resource Center (GenEq) to lead the Cal contingent of marchers and host Cal’s official booth at the Festival.

Belonging: Rosa Hernandez ’15

Rosa Hernandez ’15 didn’t grow up imagining she would attend college. Her mom was only educated up to a third-grade level and once even told Rosa, “The job that I can advocate for you to get would be at the meat packing plant I work at.”

Alumni Share Paths from Cal to Career with Incoming Transfers

The Cal Alumni Association (CAA) thanks all the alumni and professionals that attended this year’s Alumni-Student Mixer at Golden Bear Orientation. Approximately 150 alumni from a variety of industries and backgrounds welcomed new transfer students to Cal on Memorial Glade. Because of these volunteers, nearly 1,000 students received a warm welcome to campus, and were ready to start their first semester at UC Berkeley with clarity about the paths alumni took to get where they are now.

Director’s Chair: Fall 2019

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.

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