As a new academic year begins for more than 40,000 Cal students, I reflect on those whose brilliant work on behalf of the university has lit the paths for so many of us. This year has seen the passing of multiple individuals who have made great contributions to UC Berkeley’s legacy—here, I call to mind a dear few.
A Cal bat boy as a child, John Sproul ’45 was a basketball letterman while at Berkeley and an avid Golden Bears fan into his nineties. Gerson Bakar ’48 was a successful real estate developer who worked to ensure affordable housing for others. The “Spirit of Bowles,” Bob Sayles ’52 was a key part of the Bowles Hall restoration project that reopened the residence hall that housed him as a student. T. Gary Rogers ’63, an All-University Athlete and supporter of bioscience research, met his wife on staff at CAA’s Tahoe Alumni Center, a predecessor to our Lair of the Golden Bear camp. Close to our hearts, beloved colleague Charlotte Sproul ’71, M.A. ’75 imparted her indomitable spirit and positive attitude to travelers as a tour manager for Cal Discoveries Travel.
When the Cal Alumni Association (CAA) supports students by granting scholarships or by transporting them to campus, when we advocate for this top public research institution or simply root for the Bears at athletic events, we keep these legacies alive. The alumni named here have each furthered our founders’ vision for UC Berkeley—building upon the excellence of our university for “the glory and happiness of advancing generations.”
What does the next generation of Cal alumni look like? We are engaged, committed, and passionate. We march in the SF Pride parade. We connect alumni in places like New York City and North Carolina, home to our newest alumni chapter. We host new-student welcome parties across the nation. We advocate for Cal in our state and national capitals, and volunteer on the home front by establishing an alumni-led Day of Service. We unite alumnae from all career stages for a women-in-tech event. CAA is proud to lead an alumni community that welcomes and supports all the diverse segments of Cal.
CAA is also proud to welcome a new chancellor who represents the values of public education, a commitment to community, and support for higher education and diversity. We are honored to count Carol Christ as part of our Berkeley family and to include her perspective in this issue of our magazine.
At the Lair of the Golden Bear this summer, I witnessed the power that can be generated when past and future generations converge in a single place. I believe Rogers, as a former Lair staff member, would have agreed that this quality is also shared by our alma mater. “The joy in life is the journey,” he said, and our journey runs through Berkeley.
Clothilde Hewlett ’76, J.D. ’79
CAA Executive Director
Celebrating Our Cal Alumni Community
Our alumni are active in ways as diverse as the university itself—here’s a glimpse into our vibrant network.
Photography: Kelley L Cox and Kenneth Macaraig