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On Campus

A Tour Through the Past 125 Years of California Magazine

By Pat Joseph

In the May 1942 edition of California Monthly, under the heading “Reader Comment,” ran a note from one Frank Pryor Jr. ’39, second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Coast Artillery Corps, asking for a change of address.

Illustration by Stephanie Singleton

“I am a minimally speaking autistic person who was not expected to go to college.” Now he’s getting his PhD

By Hari Srinivasan ’22 as told to Laura Smith

I was not expected to go to college. 

Big tent: Cal’s enrollment keeps growing. (PEG SKORPINSKI)

Can equity in higher education be counterproductive?

By Dhoha Bareche

Since its founding in 1868, the University of California has been committed to making higher education accessible to everyone.

Twainiana: Bob Hirst’s office in the Bancroft Library is a perpetual jumble of stacked books and papers. (Jami Smith for the UC Berkeley) Library

Was Mark Twain an Antiracist?

By Pat Joseph

Since 1949, the Mark Twain Papers (now the Mark Twain Papers and Project) have resided at the Bancroft Library, and for more than four decades, Robert Hirst, M.A. ’65,  Ph.D. ’76, has presided over them as general editor and curator. 

New homes: View of proposed supportive housing and dorms from People’s Park Glade. (LMS ARCHITECTS/HOOD DESIGN STUDIO)

The Chancellor’s Letter from the Fall Issue of California Magazine

By Chancellor Carol T. Christ

Our university is relentlessly dynamic, constantly evolving to meet students’ interests, keep pace with the expanding depth and breadth of knowledge, and support an ambitious and entrepreneurial research enterprise.


The News is Different Depending on Who’s Telling the Story

By Laura Smith

Since 2006, the front pages of newspapers from around the world have been blown up and displayed outside Moffitt Library and the adjacent Free Speech Movement Café.

An Orchestra Conductor, Covid Vaccinations Without the Poke, and a Roma Activist

By Martin Snapp

Although he’s still in his twenties, Stefano Flavoni ’15 is already making his mark on the classical music scene.

Carleton E. Watkins, UC Berkeley Bancroft Library

This Land is Their Land

By Hayden Royster

To Phenocia Bauerle, the words “land-grant college” carry a particular weight. A member of the Apsáalooke tribe, she grew up in Montana, a state where, as she puts it, “it’s understood what a land-grant institution means: It means Native land was taken.”

Road block: Phil Bokovoy, Cal alum and president of Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods. Paul Chinn/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Berkeley v. Berkeley

By Dhoha Bareche

In March, the public was stunned to learn that state courts had ordered UC Berkeley to freeze enrollment at 2020–21 levels, meaning that about 2,600 fewer seats would be available to first-year and transfer students for in-person enrollment in the fall. The news came less than a month before admission offers were to be sent to incoming freshmen. 

(Anas Alkharboutli/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

The World Has Become Desensitized to Our Pain

By Dhoha Bareche ’23

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, countries around the world have rallied their support for Ukrainians. NATO allies have united like never before, imposing severe economic sanctions on Russia and making Vladimir Putin an international pariah. At the same time, Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy has become a celebrity in the West. What explains the outpouring of support?

(Illustration by Christina Dallorso)

First Person

By Alexa Zahlada '23, as told to Anabel Sosa

Back in 2009, I moved from Ukraine to the U.S. to live with my mom, who was studying to become a doctor. Years later, I remember her sitting me down in the car and saying, “I cannot afford to raise you here and I don’t know what to do.”

( Oleinichenko)

Editor’s Note

By Pat Joseph

Generally speaking, we like things to be black and white. Give us heroes and villains, saints and sinners, good versus bad, and we’re happy. Give us grays—moral ambiguity, countervailing facts, good and bad swirled together—and the result is what psychologists call cognitive dissonance. We don’t like it.