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2021 Summer

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Student View: “The Power of ‘No’”

“After so many agonizing months, I finally found myself at a place where I had the freedom to refuse.” Welcome to “Student View,” a new column featuring the thoughts, opinions, and musings of undergraduate writers at Cal. This spring, for our inaugural “Student View” essay contest, California asked current Cal students to answer the question: […]

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Student View: “Sunsets and Little Things”

“Over these past 400+ days of lockdown, I’ve amassed quite the collection of sunset pictures in my camera roll.” Welcome to “Student View,” a new column featuring the thoughts, opinions, and musings of undergraduate writers at Cal. This spring, for our inaugural “Student View” essay contest, California asked current Cal students to answer the question: […]

Now Showing: Celebrating Half a Century of Film at Berkeley

THIS YEAR, Berkeley’s Pacific Film Archive celebrates its 50th anniversary—that is, in its physical form. While the PFA technically opened its doors in 1971, it actually came into being several years earlier, before it had any doors, born from the mind of writer Sheldon Renan. A graduate of Yale University, Renan spent his early career […]

Joe Di Prisco Bet on Literature—and Won Big

WHEN HE WAS A GRAD STUDENT in Berkeley in the 1970s and ’80s, pursuing his Ph.D. in English, Joe Di Prisco would often duck out of Wheeler Hall to place bets on sports games from campus pay phones. It wasn’t the only angle he was working back then. Di Prisco was also part of a […]

Editor’s Note: Serious Philosophical Questions

Grappling with our longer leases on life Albert Camus called suicide the only “really serious philosophical problem,” and Shakespeare apparently agreed. “To be or not to be”: wasn’t that the question? Begging Albert and Hamlet’s forgiveness, the question isn’t what it used to be. After all, in Shakespeare’s pox-ridden London, the average life expectancy was […]

Image source: 2016 UC Regents

Chancellor’s Letter: Summer 2021

Collective resilience in challenging times As life begins its return to something resembling normal, I want to share some of what I have learned about leadership during these unprecedented times, for it speaks directly to what makes our university a special place. My favorite definition of good leadership comes from the World Economic Forum: “True […]

Celebrating Children’s Literature Legend, Beverly Cleary

It was a quiet morning at Sather Gate Book Shop in Berkeley during World War II. Beverly Cleary, who was working at the shop, idly picked up a children’s book. “‘Bow-wow. I like the green grass,’ said the puppy,” she read, as she later recalled in a memoir. “How ridiculous,” she thought. “No puppy I had known talked like that.”

Sitting Down With Hammer Thrower Camryn Rogers

By Cameron Rogers as told to Katherine Blesie

I didn’t play a sport until 2012, when I picked up my first hammer. I showed up to my school’s track practice late—I wasn’t even going to go—and I went to the back area of the track where there was this rusty cage, and the coach, Richard, pointed to a hammer and said, “Okay, throw […]

Image source: Illustrations by Patrick Welsh

Bears in Space: Shining the Spotlight on Five Interstellar Alumni

From Berkeley to the beyond, these grads have really taken off. Margaret Rhea Seddon Margaret Rhea Seddon ’70 came to Cal in 1965 from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. It was an eye-opening, and liberating, experience for the Southern belle. As she recalls in her 2016 memoir, Go for Orbit: “While students at traditional colleges worried about the […]

Editors’ Picks: What to Read and Watch This Summer

Our editors have curated a list of entertainment to indulge in this summer. Here are their top picks of books, documentaries, and more, all produced by UC Berkeley faculty and alumni. The God Equation By Michio Kaku, Ph.D. ’72 In his latest book, theoretical physicist and master storyteller Michio Kaku walks readers through humanity’s gradual […]

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Quenching Thirst and Generating Power Along California’s Irrigation Canals

Covering 4,000 miles of irrigation canals with solar panels could help solve the state’s water crisis. According to a team of scientists from UC Merced, California’s 4,000 miles of irrigation canals lose 63 billion gallons of water each year to evaporation—a problem that could be solved by shading them with solar panels. In their feasibility […]

Image source: Phillip Bond / Alamy Stock Photo

Mills College Closes, but Opens Its Doors to Berkeley Students

A new solution to Cal’s housing and classroom shortage In early March, the leadership of Mills College announced that the institution would discontinue its enrollment for first-year students after fall 2021. By 2023, the small private college in Oakland, established in 1852 for the education of undergraduate women, will be officially closed. When one door […]