At the year’s end, I find it encouraging to look back on the work the Cal Alumni Association (CAA) and UC Berkeley have accomplished. In 2017, Berkeley remained steadfast in its mission to unify its diverse communities by creating a culture of peace and respect for the dignity of human life at a time when public discourse has often turned divisive and dehumanizing.
Our alumni association has continued to advocate for the Cal community this year, as we have every year since our founding in 1872. Cal alumni have a long legacy of carrying out the university’s commitment to excellence—from the members of the class of 1872 who fought for Berkeley in the state legislature to those today who support more than 800 bright young scholars in gaining a Cal education through our Alumni Scholars Program.
Today, CAA continues to find new ways to support our ever-growing community. At the outset of the academic year, Cal alumni volunteered at UC Berkeley’s Golden Bear Orientation, offering career advice to more than 2,000 transfer students. At CALIFORNIA Live! this October, we educated alumni in Los Angeles about the state’s role in funding higher education.
If we, as alumni, are to carry out the university’s commitment to excellence in diversity—a commitment manifested in such forms as welcoming to campus female students in 1870 and international students in 1890—we must continue to uphold all members of our community. As 2018 begins, we are making it part of CAA’s stated vision and deliberate mission to ensure that all Cal alumni worldwide are connected and engaged with UC Berkeley for life. Our five-year strategic plan outlines the pledge our alumni association vows to uphold, in intention and in practice, for every UC Berkeley alum, beginning the moment they set foot on this campus.
CAA’s time-honored athletic traditions bring together Cal friends and family at football tailgates and basketball hoops parties—I hope you’ll join us at the latter this coming January. As we cheer on our Golden Bears, these simple events hold the power to unite us in one place, for one cause; and through the unifying voice of Cal spirit renew our hearts to continue fighting for and protecting each member of our Cal community.
Clothilde Hewlett ’76, J.D. ’79