On March 23, 2018, we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the University of California. As the UC’s first campus, UC Berkeley stands not only as a testament to our excellence in academics and innovation in research, but also to the university’s 150-year legacy of dismantling barriers to inclusion.
In 1868, California Governor Henry Haight signed the revolutionary Organic Act, chartering a public university for the state of California that would provide an education for the children of industrial barons and immigrants alike. In 1870, the UC Regents expanded the original plan to include women—admissions many Ivy League schools would not make until nearly a century later.
It is from these roots that the University of California grew into the engine of social mobility it continues to be today. An education at Berkeley has provided students means for social change with impact far beyond our campus: alumni like Ida Louise Jackson ’22, one of the first Black women to be certified to teach in California; Jennifer Granholm ’84, who became the first woman to be elected governor of Michigan in 2003; and Ravinder Bhalla ’95, who in 2017 became New Jersey’s first Sikh mayor. Now Chancellor of UC Davis, Gary S. May M.S. ’88, Ph.D. ’91 led the development of programs to recruit and retain women and underrepresented minorities in STEM and co-founded the Black Graduate Engineering and Science Students (BGESS) group at UC Berkeley. In February, the Cal Alumni Association (CAA) and the Black Alumni Club joined students and alumni to celebrate BGESS’s 30th anniversary as well as the 50th anniversary of the Black Engineering and Science Student Association.
Our 29 alumni Nobel Laureates are shining examples of UC Berkeley’s preeminence, but let us not neglect the to recognize the full brilliance of the university’s legacy—namely its vision of inclusivity, as apparent in its original mission, and as manifest through its students and alumni. Supporting all Berkeley’s students, including those who are first-generation and under-represented minority scholars, is one of our alumni association’s core goals—which is why, through scholarships such as the Kruttschnitt Aspire Scholarship Program (KASP), CAA mobilizes alumni who recognize the power of giving back in support of our next generation of leaders and changemakers.
This year, I invite you to honor Berkeley’s 150 years of light with us: a legacy of broad social impact, groundbreaking initiatives, and innovations achieved by the students and graduates of this remarkable public university. We have much to celebrate.
Clothilde Hewlett ’76, J.D. ’79
150 Years of Berkeley: 1868 – 2018
A Birthday Celebration
In 1868, leaders of the newly established state of California founded the University of California, Berkeley, which would become the UC system’s flagship campus. 150 years later, our founderswould be gratified to know that UC Berkeley has emerged as one of the world’s preeminent universities, home to 36,000 students and 2,000 faculty members in 170 academic departments and programs. The influence of Berkeley’s distinguished faculty, cutting-edge research, and wealth of academic programs truly spans the globe.
Berkeley 150 Alumni Events
March 23, 2018 | 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Haas Pavilion and Sproul Plaza | Free
Witness an alumni procession of carrying class banners that date back to our beginning. Tickets: 150.berkeley.edu.
Berkeley 150 Roadshow
Spring 2018 | US cities
Join Chancellor Carol Christ to celebrate 150 years of Berkeley’s extraordinary life.
Cal Café at Cal Day
April 21, 2018 | 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
UC Berkeley campus | Free
Stop by Alumni House to peruse old yearbooks, enjoy refreshments, and connect with fellow alumni.
See the full alumni events calendar at alumni.berkeley.edu/events.