Cal for Life

Former Leadership Award Scholar Greg Haack ’99 recalls the first time an alumnus took him under his wing. “He really took care of me and advised me to never wear red at Berkeley,” explains Greg, who attended The Leadership Award Recognition Luncheon as a freshman at Cal. This long-standing CAA event illuminated for Greg the importance of bringing together alumni and students.

Greg’s Berkeley adventure led him through an undergraduate degree in marketing from the Haas School of Business. He now owns his own insurance brokerage and works with business owners to find health benefit solutions for their employees and to navigate healthcare reform.

“It is an awesome experience to have the chance to share how great it is to be a Bear.”

Greg joined CAA’s Orange County Cal Alumni Club as soon as he settled in Irvine. “I love the camaraderie of being with my fellow bears. This band of brothers and sisters in Orange County knows we are incredibly blessed to be Cal alumni. We all feel the need and the obligation to give back.” Currently the Vice President of Prospective Student Outreach for CAA’s YES Berkeley! Student Recruitment, Greg has discovered an affinity for working with teens. “In Orange County we compete with UCLA and USC for students. We strive to be the best representatives of the Cal brand. We engage hundreds of high school students and their parents at our college fairs. In 2015, more than 850 students from Orange County were accepted at Cal. It is an awesome experience to have the chance to share how great it is to be a Bear.”

Greg and his five-year-old daughter Elizabeth at home in Bear Territory.

Each year, Greg acts as an ambassador and liaison between various schools and the Orange County Cal Alumni Club at more than 30 college fairs, encouraging students to apply to Cal. “Engaging high school kids is an inspiring experience,” he says. “As alumni, we know what kind of things they need to know.” Greg also helps host an annual new student reception, where he and his fellow alumni encourage each student admitted to “close the deal” and say yes to Cal. “I tell prospective students that if you have an opportunity to go to Cal, it will be the best decision you ever make. Cal will present you with limitless opportunities that you never knew existed,” says Greg.

Proud and grateful for his time at Berkeley, Greg strives to make prospective Cal students aware of the lifelong friends they will make, and the many professional opportunities they will have because of their Cal degree. “You don’t realize until you have left campus how well respected your Cal degree is,” he declares. “Cal is for life.”