Excellence in Service 2014

B.A. Economics, 1976

In more than 30 years of service, UC Regent Designate and past CAA president Karen Leong Clancy has helped shape both state and national education policy and remains a staunch proponent of dual language education.

She was the Asian Pacific Islander director-at-large for the California School Boards Association (CSBA) from 2000 to 2004, and she also represented the CSBA on the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Schools. She is a past president of the San Mateo County School Board Members Association, and has served on the California Commission on Technology and Learning, which drafted education technology recommendations for the state’s K–12 master plan.

Clancy was a member of the subcommittee on International Education and Foreign Language Studies for the Committee for Economic Development in Washington, D.C., contributing to a report that was the basis for proposed legislation to fund staff development and afterschool programs supporting international education.

As an education consultant, Clancy has worked with groups such as the Committee of 100, which fosters relations between the United States and China. She initiated the K–16 Chinese Language Pipeline Project at Berkeley, and helped launch the San Mateo County Summer Institute, an intensive three-week course that prepares middle school and high school teachers for instruction on China and Chinese issues.

A member of the Cal Alumni Association board of directors since 2007, Clancy was CAA president from 2011 to 2013. Her appointment to the UC Board of Regents runs two years.


B.A. Architecture, 1978

San Francisco developer Robert J. Lalanne has prospered since his graduation from Cal 35 years ago. As the President of the Lalanne Group, he has developed many award-winning projects in the Bay Area, including the Portside condominiums along San Francisco’s Embarcadero, the Potrero Center shopping mall, Falletti Plaza, and more than 1,000 multi-family residences in San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, San Rafael, Novato, and Pacifica.

And like many successful people, Lalanne wanted to give back to the school that had educated him.

“Cal shaped me,” he said. “I learned how to question why and think here. I wanted to do something more than just write a check.”

So Lalanne served Cal by doing what he did best: plan in-fill developments. He noted that the University owns a great deal of “dormant” and non-academic real estate, and he devised a strategy to put some of it to beneficial use.

In talks with Cal officials, he developed a plan for senior housing and a retail complex at the University’s Albany Village site. When fully completed, the development will yield annual rents of about $1 million—roughly the expected investment rate return on a $20 million endowment.

Lalanne, as a Trustee and Chair of the UC Berkeley Foundation Real Estate Advisory Group, has identified other projects involving UC-owned real estate that could yield up to $20 million annually, a return typical for a $400 million endowment.

On December 17, 2013, Lalanne was named UC Berkeley’s first vice chancellor for real estate by Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks.

“It is gratifying that I’m able to take the skills and values I learned at Cal to help Cal,” he said.


B.A. Physical Education, 1956
M.A. Education, 1962, Ed.D. Education, 1973

In his 40-year career at Cal, Van Houten has served students in various capacities including as Associate Dean of Students, the first Dean of Orientations, and the Chancellor’s Representative to the ASUC Senate. From 1973 to 2000, he took on roles including Director of Student Advising and Assistance, Director of Pre-Professional and Pre-Graduate Student Advising, and Director, Graduate School Services. He also started a program for advising student-athletes.

For his outstanding service, Van Houten received the Berkeley Citation and the Helmet Award. Retired since 2000, he now volunteers for Cal and CAA. He is an active participant of CAA Advocacy and the Class of 1956’s gift and reunion committees. He is a member of the Cal Alumni Club of Tuolumne County, the Order of the Golden Bear, and the Big C Society.

But his passion remains serving students—he has attended numerous student receptions and college fairs. He also helps high school graduates matriculate at his beloved alma mater.

“Cal deserves my every effort to become the best ambassador I can be.” He added, “As with so many other Cal alums, it is a labor of love.”


B.A. Spanish, 1966

Kenna Howell Worthington came to Cal from Sheridan, Wyoming, in 1962—determined, she said, to expand her horizons.

“Wyoming was a small state, and my perspective was pretty limited out of high school,” Worthington said. “At Cal, the Free Speech Movement was getting started. Everything about the University was new and exciting—the depth and quality of the instruction, the diversity of the student body, the big themes and issues that were playing out right on campus. It opened my eyes to the world.”

After graduation, Worthington went traveling around the world, did additional study, and moved to Texas, where she pursued a career in international banking—helped immensely, she observed, by her Cal degree in Spanish.

Meanwhile, her love for and commitment to Cal never flagged. In 1980, she was one of the founders of the UC Alumni Club of Texas, and has since served as its presiding spirit, helping it become one of the more successful UC alumni groups in the Southwest. During her long tenure, she helped establish the Cal-Houston Alumni Scholarship Endowment, organized dinner events featuring Cal-associated speakers, and supervised receptions for prospective and incoming students.

“And of course, I’ve always attended Big Game parties in Houston,” Worthington said. “The University of California helped me achieve a fulfilling life. Now my priority is helping local students attend Cal. I want them to have the opportunities I had.”