A new year’s transition is marked by one poignant ending and countless anticipations for new beginnings.
In December, I had the honor of attending UC Berkeley’s winter commencement to celebrate Maria Smith ’20, who I had the privilege of meeting and mentoring when she worked as a student assistant for the Cal Alumni Association’s Alumni Scholars Program. While I will miss seeing Maria on campus and at Alumni House, I know she has myriad opportunities awaiting her after graduation—and that she will someday return to Berkeley.
Cal alumni have, for more than 150 years, demonstrated their loyalty to the university. Like the tide, as students step into the world after UC Berkeley, alumni return to renew their Cal pride by donating, volunteering, and attending events—like the Redbox Bowl, where more than 1,200 alumni cheered our Golden Bears on to their first bowl win since 2015.
In the first months of 2020, the Cal Alumni Association (CAA) provided alumni many opportunities to reconnect with Berkeley. This February, CAA hosted its annual Alumni Volunteer Leadership Conference, where leaders shared their experiences and goals for connecting alumni across the country. That same month, CAA kicked off scholarship recruitment, inviting alumni volunteers to help foster the next generation of student leaders. In early March, CAA’s Alumni Scholars Program honored 650 of these students—recipients of The Leadership Award—for their contributions to academic, professional, and community spaces.
For the rest of the year, the alumni association has planned a diverse array of programs, including career advancement events for alumnae, and is partnering with campus to continue revitalizing the relationships Cal alumni have with their alma mater. This year, we recognize the women who have made their mark on Cal’s history as UC Berkeley commemorates 150 years of dynamic, pioneering women on campus, and launches a bold capital campaign. I and the rest of the CAA staff hope that you will join us in celebrating the contributions of women past and present at UC Berkeley.
Clothilde Hewlett ’76, J.D. ’79