Close Mobile Menu
Director’s Chair

We’re back—and then some.

Cal students completed their first full academic year of on-campus instruction after two pandemic years.

June 5, 2023
Mayor of Oakland Sheng Thao ’14 (center) celebrates graduating scholars from The Achievement Award Program (TAAP) along with alumni and supporters at the TAAP Senior Brunch, April 29, 2023 at Alumni House. Mayor of Oakland Sheng Thao ’14 (center) celebrates graduating scholars from The Achievement Award Program (TAAP) along with alumni and supporters at the TAAP Senior Brunch, April 29, 2023 at Alumni House. / Hey Zinah Photography / Cal Alumni Association
Susie Cohen Crumpler

We met this long-awaited milestone with celebration and renewed energy, knowing our community thrives with interpersonal connection. At Cal Day, our Alumni Scholars Program greeted incoming students who had just received award notifications for the 2023–24 academic year. The Leadership Award, The Achievement Award Program, the African American Initiative Scholarship, and other Cal Alumni Association (CAA) awards provide vital financial and personal support for student success at UC Berkeley. 

Our Cal Alumni Mentors program completed its inaugural year, pairing nearly 500 alumni mentors and student mentees. The program harnesses the talent and experience of our alumni community to help first-generation, underrepresented, and underserved students make the most of their time at Berkeley. Our nationwide network of Alumni Chapters is gearing up to host Summer Welcome Parties so that new students can begin to feel at home before they arrive on campus this fall. 

The rain came down in Berkeley this spring, and mountains of snow at our Lair of the Golden Bear in Pinecrest, California. Thankfully, our 10 new, year-round cabins were heated and ready for visitors each snowy weekend. We are excited to welcome campers back for a full Family Camp season this summer and a return to campfires and creek walks. This fall, the Lair will begin construction on a new dining hall and retreat center at Camp Oski, a gathering point for the broader campus and alumni community to experience the magic of the Lair.

Though we cherish our in-person events, we know that a vast number of Cal alumni live outside the Bay Area, and that virtual programs provide a tangible connection back to Berkeley. This spring, CAA launched Cal for All, a virtual speaker series aimed at creating a more inclusive alumni community. Cathy Han ’01 and Berkeley’s Chief Innovation and Entrepreneurship Officer Dr. Richard Lyons ’82 opened with a chat on “A Changemaker Mindset for Inclusive Innovation,” followed by a panel of alumni experts in diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice (DEIBJ). We are committed to creating programs like these to encourage the insightful conversations that connect and inspire our alumni body.

To best serve our student and alumni communities, CAA’s strategic efforts are focused on rebuilding programs that were impacted during the pandemic and creating future-facing plans to ensure our long-term financial sustainability. The engagement and support of our entire alumni community are essential as we chart this course. I remain perpetually optimistic that the welcoming and inclusive future we envision can be achieved.

Fiat Lux and Go Bears!

susie cohen crumpler signature

Susie Cohen Crumpler
Executive Director, Cal Alumni Association

Lair