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Director’s Chair

From the Executive Director

Campus is alive again.

June 8, 2022
People smiling in front of Cal balloons New York alumni joined Golden Bears at yield events around the globe, encouraging new admits to choose Berkeley. Pictured (l-r) are Cal Alumni Club of New York leaders Sudarshan Gopalakrishnan ’21, Niky Arora ’21, Marisa Li ’18, and Lauren Keyson ’81, with CAA Executive Director Susie Cohen Crumpler and CAA Board of Directors Vice President Demetrios Boutris ’83.
Susie Cohen Crumpler

Spring heralded a vibrant return to Berkeley. The Class of 2022 held commencement in person, a milestone after two long pandemic years. Elsewhere, a new class is accepted, and its prospective admits visit campus with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. The decision they make next could be pivotal for their future. Perhaps there is a similar moment in your memory. 

This year also marks the 150th anniversary of our alumni association. In 1872, members of the University of California’s charter Class of 1873 gathered to establish this alumni community. This simple act ensured a lifelong connection to Berkeley for all future graduates. 

A century and a half later, alumni continue this legacy at annual yield events on campus and around the globe. From Berkeley to Houston, New York City, and points international, alumni volunteers supported the recruitment of more than thousands of projected student attendees, helping ensure that the largest possible number of admitted students is confident in choosing Berkeley. On a more personal level, recruitment and yield work is about sharing community. When alumni share their experiences with new admits and their families, the joy and energy Cal alumni bring to our community carries over. Through our stories, students gain perspective that helps them move through Berkeley with confidence. 

You will hear from Eric Esparza ’22 and Leslie Cruz-Cabrera ’22, graduating The Achievement Award Scholars who exemplify the powerful and purpose-driven values we hope to cultivate at Berkeley. Both share how vital it is for students to find welcoming and inclusive communities at Cal—and how passionate they are about helping create these spaces. 

Hear from some of the Black alumni leaders who helped students embrace that confidence on the eve of their graduation. Black Alumni Association President Cheryl Wright ’83 told students how important support from her community would have been as an undergraduate, saying, “I was amazing back then, but can you imagine how fierce I would have been by having the Cal Black Alumni community at my fingertips?”

For many of us, the value of community is not learned but known. Many in our Cal circles have carved out their own spaces, fighting hard-won battles, striving against odds in pursuit of that noble vision. Now it is up to each of us to confront the struggles and turn that vision of community into our shared reality.

As we honor this moment and celebrate our past and our future, let this energy continue into our next 150 years.

Fiat Lux and Go Bears,

Susie Cohen Crumpler
Executive Director