University of California, Berkeley

University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley

Seal of the University of California, Berkeley
Motto Latin: Fiat Lux
Motto in English Let There Be Light
Established March 23, 1868
Type Public
Endowment $3.15 billion (June 2011) [1]
Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau
Undergraduates 25,530 (Fall 2009)[2]
Postgraduates 10,313 (Fall 2009)[2]
Location Berkeley, California, United States
Campus Urban
6,651 acres (2,692 ha)[3]
Nobel Laureates 70[4]
Colors      Yale Blue
     California Gold
Athletics 27 Varsity Teams
NCAA Division I
California Golden Bears
Mascot Oski the Bear
Affiliations AAU
University of California
Berkeley Horizontal Logo.PNG

The University of California, Berkeley (also referred to as UC Berkeley, Berkeley, or simply Cal), is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA. Berkeley is the most consistently well ranked university in the world overall as shown by a meta-analysis of subject/departmental data over the last sixteen years from the United States National Research Council, the US News & World Report, and Times Higher Education. Berkeley has the highest number of distinguished graduate programs ranked in the top 10 in their fields by the United States National Research Council. Among other honors, University faculty, alumni, and researchers have won 70 Nobel Prizes, 9 Wolf Prizes, 7 Fields Medals, 15 Turing Awards, 45[5] MacArthur Fellowships, 20 Academy Awards, and 11 Pulitzer Prizes. To date, UC Berkeley and its researchers are associated with 6 chemical elements of the periodic table (Californium, Seaborgium, Berkelium, Einsteinium, Fermium, Lawrencium) and Berkeley Lab has discovered 16 chemical elements in total – more than any other university in the world.[6] Berkeley is widely considered one of the most prestigious and selective universities in the world. [7]

UC Berkeley is the flagship institution of the University of California.[8][9][10][11] The university occupies 6,651 acres (2,692 ha) with the central campus resting on approximately 200 acres (81 ha)[3] in the San Francisco Bay Area. Berkeley offers approximately 300 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. The oldest of the ten major campuses affiliated with the University of California (UC), Berkeley was the result of an 1868 merger of the private College of California and the public Agricultural, Mining, and Mechanical Arts College in Oakland. Since its founding, Berkeley has been charged with providing both "classical" and "practical" education for the state's people.[12]

Berkeley co-manages three United States Department of Energy National Laboratories, including the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy. Berkeley was a founding member of the Association of American Universities. Berkeley physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer was the scientific director of the Manhattan Project that developed the first atomic bomb in the world, which he personally headquartered at Los Alamos, New Mexico, during World War II.

Berkeley student-athletes have won over 100 Olympic medals. Known as the California Golden Bears (often abbreviated as "Cal Bears" or just "Cal"), the athletic teams are members of both the Pacific-12 Conference and the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in the NCAA. Cal athletes have won national titles in many sports, including football, men's and women's swimming, men's basketball, baseball, men's gymnastics, softball, water polo, rugby, and crew. The official colors of the university and its athletic teams are Yale Blue and California Gold.



View from Memorial Glade of Sather Tower (The Campanile), the center of UC Berkeley. The ring of its bells and clock can be observed from all over campus.

In 1866, the land comprising the current Berkeley campus was purchased by the private College of California. Because it lacked sufficient funds to operate, it eventually merged with the state-run Agricultural, Mining, and Mechanical Arts College to form the University of California, the first full-curriculum public university in the state. The university opened in September 1869. Frederick Billings was a trustee of the College of California and suggested that the college be named in honor of the Anglo-Irish philosopher George Berkeley.[13] In 1870 Henry Durant, the founder of the College of California, became the first president. With the completion of North and South Halls in 1873, the university relocated to its Berkeley location with 167 male and 222 female students and held its first classes.[14]

Beginning in 1891, Phoebe Apperson Hearst made several large gifts to Berkeley, funding a number of programs and new buildings, and sponsoring, in 1898, an international competition in Antwerp, Belgium, where French architect Emile Bernard submitted the winning design for a campus master plan. In 1905, the University Farm was established near Sacramento, ultimately becoming the University of California, Davis.[15] By the 1920s, the number of campus buildings had grown substantially, and included twenty structures designed by architect John Galen Howard.[16]

Robert Gordon Sproul served as president from 1930 to 1958.[17] By 1942, the American Council on Education ranked UC Berkeley second only to Harvard University in the number of distinguished departments.[17]

During World War II, following Glenn Seaborg's then-secret discovery of plutonium, Ernest Orlando Lawrence's Radiation Laboratory began to contract with the U.S. Army to develop the atomic bomb. UC Berkeley physics professor J. Robert Oppenheimer was named scientific head of the Manhattan Project in 1942.[18][19] Along with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (formerly the Radiation Lab), Berkeley is now a partner in managing two other labs, Los Alamos National Laboratory (1943) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (1952).

Originally, military training was compulsory for male undergraduates, and Berkeley housed an armory for that purpose. In 1917, Berkeley's ROTC program was established, and its School of Military Aeronautics trained future pilots, including Jimmy Doolittle, who graduated with a B.A. in 1922. Both Robert McNamara and Frederick C. Weyand graduated from UC Berkeley's ROTC program, earning B.A. degrees in 1937 and 1938, respectively. During World War II, the military increased its presence on campus to recruit more officers, and by 1944, the student body at Berkeley included more than 1,000 Navy personnel. The Board of Regents ended compulsory military training at Berkeley in 1962.

During the McCarthy era in 1949, the Board of Regents adopted an anti-communist loyalty oath. A number of faculty members objected and were dismissed;[20] ten years passed before they were reinstated with back pay.[21]

In 1952, the University of California became an entity separate from the Berkeley campus. Each campus was given relative autonomy and its own Chancellor. Then-president Sproul assumed presidency of the entire University of California system, and Clark Kerr became the first Chancellor of UC Berkeley.[17]

Sather Tower (the Campanile) looking out over the San Francisco Bay and Mount Tamalpais.

Berkeley gained a reputation for student activism in the 1960s with the Free Speech Movement in 1964,[22] and opposition to the Vietnam War. In the highly publicized People's Park protest in 1969, students and the school conflicted over use of a plot of land; the National Guard was called in and violence erupted.[22][23] Modern students at Berkeley are less politically active, with a greater percentage of moderates and conservatives.[24][25] Democrats outnumber Republicans on the faculty by a ratio of 9:1.[26]

Various human and animal rights groups have recently conflicted with Berkeley. Native Americans conflicted with the school over repatriation of remains from the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology.[27] Animal-rights activists have threatened faculty members using animals for research.[28] The school's response to tree sitters protesting construction caused controversy in the local community.[29]

As state funding (now about 25%) has declined,[30] Berkeley has turned to private sources: BP donated $500 million to develop biofuels, the Hewlett Foundation gave $113 million to endow 100 faculty chairs, and Dow Chemical gave $10 million to research sustainability.[31][32] The BP grant has been criticized for diverting food production to fuel production.[33][34]

The original name University of California was frequently shortened to California or Cal. UC Berkeley's athletic teams date to this time and so are referred to as the California Golden Bears, Cal Bears, or just Cal. Today, University of California refers to a statewide school system. Referring to the University of California, Berkeley as UCB or University of California at Berkeley is discouraged[35] and the domain name is Moreover, the term "Cal Berkeley" is not a correct reference to the school, but is occasionally used. Berkeley is unaffiliated with the Berklee College of Music or Berkeley College. However, UC Berkeley does share academic ties with Yale University; not only were many original Berkeley founders Yale graduates (see below), but the names, University of California, Berkeley and Berkeley College (Yale), were inspired by the intellectual contributions of the western philosopher, George Berkeley.


University rankings (overall)
Forbes[36] 70th
U.S. News & World Report[37] 21st
Washington Monthly[38] 3rd
ARWU[39] 4th
QS[40] 21st
Times[41] 10th

Berkeley's undergraduate program was ranked first as the top public university among "National Universities" in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.[42]

Internationally, in 2011, the Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked Berkeley 2nd in the world and the United States and 1st in California. In terms of "fields", Berkeley is ranked 2nd in Natural Sciences and Mathematics, 3rd in Engineering/Technology and Computer, 15th in Life and Agricultural Sciences, 29th in Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy, and 5th in Social Sciences. In its "subject" ranking, Berkeley is ranked 3rd in Mathematics, 5th in Physics, 2nd in Chemistry, 3rd in Computer Science and 4th in Economics/Business.[43]

The 2011 Times Higher Education World University Rankings placed Berkeley 10th in the world, 7th in the United States, and 3rd in California.[44] The QS World University Rankings placed Berkeley 21st in the world, 14th in the United States, and 3rd in California.[45] (In 2010, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and QS World University Rankings parted ways to produce separate rankings.) In the 2006 international edition of Newsweek, Berkeley was the fifth-ranked global university,[46] and the Center for Measuring University Performance placed Berkeley ninth among national research universities.[47]

Berkeley's undergraduate program is ranked 3rd by The Washington Monthly and 21st among National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.[48][49] U.S. News ranked both the undergraduate programs in engineering and business 3rd in the nation.[50][51] Berkeley ranks 9th among universities that have produced the largest number of living billionaires.[52]

According to the US News & World Report Subject Rankings, Berkeley is ranked 4th in Arts & Humanities, 3rd in Engineering & IT, 5th in Life Sciences and Biomedicine, 5th in Natural and Physical Sciences, and 5th in Social Sciences.

The Berkeley English Ph.D. program has been ranked the top graduate English program in the country, according to the most recent guide to "America's Best Colleges" published by the U.S. News and World Report. Faculty in the English Department have received more university Distinguished Teaching Awards—25—than any other department.

The Princeton Review ranks Berkeley as a college with a conscience[53] and the 5th best value in public colleges.[54]

The College Sustainability Report Card, published by the Sustainable Endowments Institute, gave Berkeley a B in 2009 for its efforts in environmental sustainability.[55]

The 2011 Forbes America's Best Colleges places Berkeley 70th in the U.S.[56]


The Berkeley campus encompasses approximately 1,232 acres (499 ha), though the "central campus" occupies only the low-lying western 178 acres (72 ha) of this area. Of the remaining 1,000 acres (400 ha), approximately 200 acres (81 ha) are occupied by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; other facilities above the main campus include the Lawrence Hall of Science and several research units, notably the Space Sciences Laboratory, the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, an undeveloped 800 acres (320 ha) ecological preserve, the University of California Botanical Garden and a recreation center in Strawberry Canyon. Portions of the mostly undeveloped eastern area of the campus is actually within the City of Oakland; the northernmost eastern corner of Oakland extends from the Claremont Resort north through the Panoramic Hill neighborhood to Tilden Park.

To the west of the central campus is the downtown business district of Berkeley; to the northwest is the neighborhood of North Berkeley, including the so-called Gourmet Ghetto, a commercial district known for high quality dining due to the presence of such world-renowned restaurants as Chez Panisse. Immediately to the north is a quiet residential neighborhood known as Northside with a large graduate student population[citation needed]; situated north of that are the upscale residential neighborhoods of the Berkeley Hills, where many faculty members live[citation needed]. Immediately southeast of campus lies fraternity row, and beyond that the Clark Kerr Campus and an upscale residential area named Claremont. The area south of the university includes student housing and Telegraph Avenue, one of Berkeley's main shopping districts with stores, street vendors and restaurants catering to college students and tourists. In addition, the University also owns land to the northwest of the main campus, a 90-acre (36 ha) married student housing complex in the nearby town of Albany ("Albany Village" and the "Gill Tract"), and a field research station several miles to the north in Richmond, California.

Outside of the Bay Area, the University owns various research laboratories and research forests in both northern and southern Sierra Nevada.


What is considered the historic campus today was the result of the 1898 "International Competition for the Phoebe Hearst Architectural Plan for the University of California," funded by William Randolph Hearst's mother and initially held in the Belgian city of Antwerp; eleven finalists were judged again in San Francisco in 1899.[57] The winner was Frenchman Émile Bénard, however he refused to personally supervise the implementation of his plan and the task was subsequently given to architecture professor John Galen Howard. Howard designed over twenty buildings, which set the tone for the campus up until its expansion in the 1950s and 1960s. The structures forming the “classical core” of the campus were built in the Beaux-Arts Classical style, and include Hearst Greek Theatre, Hearst Memorial Mining Building, Doe Memorial Library, California Hall, Wheeler Hall, (Old) Le Conte Hall, Gilman Hall, Haviland Hall, Wellman Hall, Sather Gate, and the 307-foot (94 m) Sather Tower (nicknamed "the Campanile" after its architectural inspiration, St Mark's Campanile in Venice). Buildings he regarded as temporary, nonacademic, or not particularly "serious" were designed in shingle or Collegiate Gothic styles; examples of these are North Gate Hall, Dwinelle Annex, and Stephens Hall. Many of Howard's designs are recognized California Historical Landmarks and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

South Hall (1873), one of the two original buildings of the University of California, still stands on the Berkeley campus

Built in 1873 in a Victorian Second-Empire-style, South Hall is the oldest university building in California. It, and the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Piedmont Avenue east of the main campus, are the only remnants from the original University of California before John Galen Howard's buildings were constructed. Other architects whose work can be found in the campus and surrounding area are Bernard Maybeck[58] (best known for the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco), Maybeck's student Julia Morgan (Hearst Women's Gymnasium), Charles Willard Moore (Haas School of Business) and Joseph Esherick (Wurster Hall).

Natural features

Strawberry Creek, as seen between Dwinelle Hall and Lower Sproul Plaza.

Flowing into the main campus are two branches of Strawberry Creek. The south fork enters a culvert upstream of the recreational complex at the mouth of Strawberry Canyon and passes beneath California Memorial Stadium before appearing again in Faculty Glade. It then runs through the center of the campus before disappearing underground at the west end of campus. The north fork appears just east of University House and runs through the glade north of the Valley Life Sciences Building, the original site of the Campus Arboretum.

Trees in the area date from the founding of the University in the 1870s. The campus, itself, contains numerous wooded areas; including: Founders' Rock, Faculty Glade, Grinnell Natural Area, and the Eucalyptus Grove, which is both the tallest stand of such trees in the world and the tallest stand of hardwood trees in North America.[59]

The campus sits on the Hayward Fault, which runs directly through California Memorial Stadium.[60] There is ongoing construction to retrofit the stadium. The "treesit" protest revolved around the controversy of clearing away trees by the stadium to build the new Student Athlete High Performance Center. As the stadium sits directly on the fault, this raised campus concerns of the safety of student athletes in the event of an earthquake as they train in facilities under the stadium stands.[61]


In 2009, UC Berkeley developed the Climate Action Plan, pledging to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by one-third, and eventually to achieve climate neutrality. The university tries to use as much post-consumer waste recycled copy paper as possible.[62] The ReUse project allows for people to share unneeded office supplies and equipment.[63] The Berkeley Green Campus Program is a student-led initiative, involving energy reduction challenges, light bulb swaps, and other programs designed to reduce the campus's eco-footprint.[64] UC Berkeley's efforts toward sustainability earned the school a B on the College Sustainability Report Card; overall, the school's grades within the sections were high—it earned A's in the majority of the Report Card.

Student housing

Students at UC Berkeley live in a variety of housing that accommodate to personal and academic preferences and styles. The university offers two years of guaranteed housing for entering freshmen, and one year for entering transfer students. The immediately surrounding community offers apartments, Greek (fraternity and sorority) housing and cooperative housing, twenty of which are houses that are members of the Berkeley Student Cooperative.

University Housing

Cunningham Hall and the newly built Towle Hall, part of the Unit 2 residence hall complex

The university runs twelve different residence halls, ranging from undergraduate residence halls (both themed and non-themed) and family student housing, to re-entry student housing and optional international student housing at the International House. Undergraduate residence halls are located off-campus in the city of Berkeley. Units 1, 2 and 3, located on the south side of campus, offer high-rise accommodations with common areas on every other floor. These three residential high-rises share a common dining hall, called Crossroads. Further away and also on the south side of campus is Clark Kerr, an undergraduate residence hall complex that houses many student athletes and was once a school for the deaf and blind.

Bowles Hall at the 2003 Homecoming and Parents Weekend

In the foothills east of the central campus, there are three additional undergraduate residence hall complexes: Foothill, Stern, and Bowles. Foothill is a co-ed suite-style hall reminiscent of a Swiss chalet. Just south of Foothill, overlooking the Hearst Greek Theatre, is the all-women's traditional-style Stern Hall, which boasts an original mural by Diego Rivera. Because of their proximity to the College of Engineering and College of Chemistry, these residence halls often house science and engineering majors. They tend to be quieter than the southside complexes, but because of their location next to the theatre, often get free glimpses of concerts. Bowles Hall, the oldest state-owned residence hall in California, is located immediately north of California Memorial Stadium. Dedicated in 1929 and on the National Register of Historic Places, this all-men's residence hall has large quad-occupancy rooms and has the appearance of a castle.

The Channing-Bowditch and Ida Jackson apartments are intended for older students.[65][66] Family student housing consists of two main groups of housing: University Village and Smyth-Fernwald. University Village is located three miles (5 km) north-west of campus in Albany, California, and Smyth-Fernwald near the Clark Kerr campus.

Cooperative housing

Students in Berkeley have a number of cooperative housing options. The largest network of student housing cooperatives in the area is the Berkeley Student Cooperative (BSC).

Students of UC Berkeley, as well as students of other universities and colleges in the area, have the option of living in one of the twenty cooperative houses of the Berkeley Student Cooperative (BSC), formerly the University Students' Cooperative Association (USCA), and member of the national cooperative federation, NASCO. The BSC is a nonprofit housing cooperative network consisting of 20 cooperative homes and 1250 member-owners. [67] The USCA (as the BSC was known by at that time) was founded in 1933 by then-director of the YWCA, Harry Kingman. The birth of the USCA, as well as many other cooperative organizations around the country, coincided with the Great Depression precisely as a response to scant resources. By living together in large houses and pooling together resources, members found that their monetary resources could go further to pay for their cost of living than living separately. In the 1960s, the USCA pioneered the first co-ed university housing in Berkeley, called The Ridge Project. In 1975, the USCA founded its first and only vegetarian-themed house, Lothlorien. In 1997, the USCA opened its African-American theme house, Afro House, and in 1999 its LGBT-themed house, named after queer Irish author and poet Oscar Wilde. [68]

Notable alumni of the BSC include Marion Nestle, professor at New York University and author of Food Politics, and Beverly Cleary.

Fraternities and sororities

Organization and administration

Berkeley is the oldest of the ten major campuses affiliated with the University of California. The University of California is governed by a 26-member Board of Regents, 18 of which are appointed by the Governor of California to 12-year terms, 7 serving as ex officio members, and a single student regent.[69] The position of Chancellor was created in 1952 to lead individual campuses. The Board appointed Robert J. Birgeneau to be the 9th Chancellor of the university in 2004.[70] 12 vice chancellors report directly to the Chancellor. The Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost serves as the chief academic officer and is the office to which the deans of the 14 colleges and schools report.[71]

Berkeley's 130-plus academic departments and programs are organized into 14 colleges and schools.[2] "Colleges" are both undergraduate and graduate, while "Schools" are generally graduate only, though some offer undergraduate majors, minors, or courses.

  • College of Chemistry
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Environmental Design
  • College of Letters and Science
  • College of Natural Resources
  • Graduate School of Education
  • Graduate School of Journalism
  • Haas School of Business
  • Goldman School of Public Policy
  • School of Information
  • School of Law (Boalt Hall)
  • School of Optometry
  • School of Public Health
  • School of Social Welfare
  • UC Berkeley Extension

The 2006–2007 budget totaled $1.7 billion; 33% came from the State of California. In 2006–2007, 7,850 donors contributed $267.9 million and the endowment was valued at $2.89 billion.[2]

UC Berkeley employs 24,700 people directly and employees are permitted to unionize and are represented by AFSCME, California Nurses Association (CNA), Coalition of University Employees (CUE), UAW, UC-AFT, and UPTE.[2][72]

Berkeley is a large, primarily residential research university.[73] The full-time, four year undergraduate program offers 108 degrees in the arts and sciences and has high graduate coexistence.[73][74] The graduate program is a comprehensive doctoral program with 64 masters programs, 96 doctoral programs, and 32 professional programs.[73][74] Berkeley is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.[75]

Financial aid and scholarship programs

The IDEAL Scholars Fund was established by four alumni to increase the number of underrepresented minorities at UC Berkeley. The Fund tries to counter the perceived effects of California Proposition 209, which ended Affirmative Action in California and in the University of California system. Some claimed there was a reduction in the numbers of Latino, African American and Native American students and rekindled their activism on campus concerning issues of race. However, supporters of Proposition 209 have noted that the number of Asian American students, a small minority group nationally but a large minority group in California, has dramatically increased following its passage. Racial preferences remain a controversial topic, with some students supporting them while others are opposed to what they see as reverse racism, especially against Asian American students.

Student body

Demographics of student body[74][76]
Undergraduate Graduate California U.S. Census
African American 4% 3% 6.2% 12.1%
Asian American 42% 17% 12.3% 4.3%
White American 31% 42% 49.8% 65.8%
Hispanic American 12% 6% 35.9% 14.5%
Native American <1% 1% 0.7% 0.9%
International student 4% 18% N/A N/A

Berkeley enrolled 25,151 undergraduate and 10,258 graduate students in Fall 2008.[74] Women make up 53% of undergraduate enrollments and 45% graduate and professional students. 90% of undergraduates and 62% of graduate and professional students are California residents.[74] In the wake of Proposition 209, the plurality of Asian American students and under-representation of African-American and Hispanic students has received national attention.[77][78][79][80]

Berkeley received 48,461 applications for admission to the undergraduate program in 2008; 10,474 were admitted (22%) and 4,261 enrolled (41%).[74] 12,371 students from other colleges and universities applied for transfer admission in 2008; 3,232 were admitted (26%) and 2,012 (62%) enrolled. 97% of freshmen enrolled the next year, the four-year graduation rate was 61%, and the six-year rate was 88%.[74][81] The average unweighted GPA of admitted freshmen in 2010 was 3.93 (4.39 weighted), and their SAT interquartile ranges were 620–740 (Reading), 650–770 (Math), and 640–750 (Writing). Berkeley's enrollment of National Merit Scholars was third in the nation until 2002, when participation in the National Merit program was discontinued.[82] 31% of admitted students receive federal Pell grants.[83]

There were 18,231 applications to masters programs with 20% admitted and 14,361 applications to doctoral program with 16% admitted.[74]

The north side of Doe Library with Memorial Glade in the foreground.

Library system

Berkeley's 32 libraries tie together to make the fourth largest academic library in the United States surpassed only by Harvard University Library, Yale University Library and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library.[84] However, considering the relative sizes and ages of these University libraries, Berkeley's collections have been growing about as fast as those at Harvard and Yale combined: specifically, 1.8 times faster than Harvard, and 1.9 times faster than Yale. In 2003, the Association of Research Libraries ranked it as the top public and third overall university library in North America based on various statistical measures of quality.[85] As of 2006, Berkeley's library system contains over 11 million volumes and maintains over 70,000 serial titles.[86] The libraries together cover over 12 acres (4.9 ha) of land and form one of the largest library complexes in the world.[87] Doe Library serves as the library system's reference, periodical, and administrative center, while most of the main collections are housed in the subterranean Gardner Main Stacks and Moffitt Undergraduate Library. The Bancroft Library, with holdings of over 400,000 printed volumes, maintains a collection that documents the history of the western part of North America, with an emphasis on California, Mexico and Central America.

Faculty and research

Seventy Nobel Laureates have been university faculty, alumni or researchers. Special signs indicate campus parking spaces reserved for the Laureates.

Berkeley's current faculty includes 227 American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellows, 3 Fields Medal winners, 83 Fulbright Scholars, 139 Guggenheim Fellows, 87 members of the National Academy of Engineering, 132 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 9 Nobel Prize winners, 3 Pulitzer Prize winners, 84 Sloan Fellows, 7 Wolf Prize winners and 1 Pritzker Prize winner.[88] 70 Nobel Laureates have been affiliated with the university as faculty, alumni or researchers, the most of any public university in the United States and sixth most of any university in the world.

Student life and traditions

Sather gate and Sather tower (the Campanile) from Sproul Plaza on the UC Berkeley campus

The official university mascot is Oski the Bear, who debuted in 1941. Previously, live bear cubs were used as mascots at Memorial Stadium. It was decided in 1940 that a costumed mascot would be a better alternative to a live bear. Named after the Oski-wow-wow yell, he is cared for by the Oski Committee, whose members have exclusive knowledge of the identity of the costume-wearer.[89]

The University of California Marching Band, which has served the university since 1891, performs at every home football game and at select road games as well. A smaller subset of the Cal Band, the Straw Hat Band, performs at basketball games, volleyball games, and other campus and community events.[90]

The UC Rally Committee, formed in 1901, is the official guardian of California's Spirit and Traditions. Wearing their traditional blue and gold rugbies, Rally Committee members can be seen at all major sporting and spirit events. Committee members are charged with the maintenance of the five Cal flags, the large California banner overhanging the Memorial Stadium Student Section and Haas Pavilion, the California Victory Cannon, Card Stunts and The Big "C" among other duties. The Rally Committee is also responsible for safekeeping of the Stanford Axe when it is in Cal's possession.[91] The Chairman of the Rally Committee holds the title "Custodian of the Axe" while it is in the Committee's care.

Overlooking the main Berkeley campus from the foothills in the east, The Big "C" is an important symbol of California school spirit. The Big "C" has its roots in an early 20th century campus event called "Rush," which pitted the freshman and sophomore classes against each other in a race up Charter Hill that often developed into a wrestling match. It was eventually decided to discontinue Rush and, in 1905, the freshman and sophomore classes banded together in a show of unity to build the Big "C".[92] Owing to its prominent position, the Big "C" is often the target of pranks by rival Stanford University students who paint the Big "C" red and also fraternities and sororities who paint it their organization's colors. One of the Rally Committee's functions is to repaint the Big "C" to its traditional color of King Alfred Yellow.

Cal students invented the college football tradition of card stunts. Then known as Bleacher Stunts, they were first performed during the 1910 Big Game and consisted of two stunts: a picture of the Stanford Axe and a large blue "C" on a white background. The tradition continues today in the Cal student section and incorporates complicated motions, for example tracing the Cal script logo on a blue background with an imaginary yellow pen.[93]

The California Victory Cannon, placed on Tightwad Hill overlooking the stadium, is fired before every football home game, after every score, and after every Cal victory. First used in the 1963 Big Game, it was originally placed on the sidelines before moving to Tightwad Hill in 1971. The only time the cannon ran out of ammunition was during a game against Pacific in 1991, when Cal scored 12 touchdowns.[94]

Other traditions have included events that span only a few years. William (or Willie) the Polka Dot Man was a performance artist who frequented Sproul Plaza during the late 1970s and early 1980s.[95] The Naked Guy (now deceased[96]) and Larry the Drummer, who performed Batman tunes, appeared in the late 1980s and early 1990s.[95]

A few current traditions include streaking during finals week in the Main Stacks, the Happy Happy Man, and Stoney Burke.

Student-run organizations

Student government

The Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) is the student government organization that controls funding for student groups and organizes on-campus student events. It is considered one of the most autonomous student governments at any public university in the U.S. The two main political parties are "Student Action"[97] and "CalSERVE."[98] The organization was founded in 1887 and has a budget of $1.6 million.

The ASUC's Student Union Program, Entertainment, and Recreation Board (SUPERB) is a student-run, non-profit branch dedicated to providing entertainment for the campus and community. Founded in 1964, SUPERB's programming includes the Friday Film Series, free Noon Concerts on Lower Sproul Plaza, Comedy Competitions, Poker Tournaments, free Sneak Previews of upcoming movies, and more.

Communications media

UC Berkeley's student-run online television station, CalTV, was formed in 2005 and broadcasts online. It is run by students with a variety of backgrounds and majors.

UC Berkeley's independent student-run newspaper is The Daily Californian. Founded in 1871, The Daily Cal became independent in 1971 after the campus administration fired three senior editors for encouraging readers to take back People's Park.

Berkeley's FM Student radio station, KALX, broadcasts on 90.7 MHz. It is run largely by volunteers, including both students and community members.

Student groups

Cal Straw Hat Band (a smaller subset of the Cal Band) playing at SeaWorld in San Diego, California

UC Berkeley has over 700 established student groups.

UC Berkeley has a reputation for student activism, stemming from the 1960s and the Free Speech Movement. Today, Berkeley is known as a lively campus with activism in many forms, from email petitions, presentations on Sproul Plaza and volunteering, to the occasional protest. Political student groups on campus numbered 94 during the 2006–2007 school year, including Berkeley MEChA, Berkeley American Civil Liberties Union, Berkeley Students for Life, Campus Greens, The Sustainability Team (STEAM), the Berkeley Student Food Collective, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Cal Berkeley Democrats, and the Berkeley College Republicans. Berkeley sends the most students to the Peace Corps of any university in the nation.[99]

Dance Marathon, one of the campus's student-led fundraising events.

The Residence Hall Assembly (RHA) is the student-run residence hall organization that oversees all aspects of residence wide event planning, legislation, sponsorships and activities for over 6000 on-campus undergraduate residents. Founded in 1988 by the President's Council, it is now funded and supported by the Residential and Student Service Programs department on campus.

Berkeley Model United Nations [1], the oldest running high school Model United Nations program in the United States, hosts a major annual conference on campus with an average attendance of 1500 high school students each year. BMUN is hosting its 60th Annual Conference in 2012.

The Berkeley Group[100] is a student consulting organization affiliated with UC Berkeley and the Haas School of Business. Students of all majors are recruited and trained to work on pro-bono consulting engagements with real-life nonprofit clients.

ImagiCal has been the college chapter of the American Advertising Federation at Berkeley since the late 1980s. Every year, the team competes in the National Student Advertising Competition. Students from various backgrounds come together to work on a marketing case provided by the AAF and a corporate sponsor to college chapters across the nation. Most recently, the UC Berkeley team won in their respective regions in both 2005 and 2009, eventually going on to win 4th and 3rd in the nation, respectively.

Democratic Education at Cal, or DeCal, is a program that promotes the creation of professor-sponsored, student-facilitated classes through the Special Studies 98/198 program. DeCal arose out of the 1960s Free Speech movement and was officially established in 1981. The program offers around 150 courses on a vast range of subjects that appeal to the Berkeley student community, including classes on James Bond, Batman, the The Iranian Revolution, cooking, Israeli folk dancing, nuclear weapons, and meditation.

There are many a cappella groups on campus; two groups include the UC Men's Octet and The California Golden Overtones. The UC Men's Octet is an eight-member a cappella group founded in 1948 featuring a repertoire of barbershop, doo-wop, contemporary pop, modern alternative, and fight songs. They are one of only two multiple time champions of the ICCA, having won the championship in both 1998 and 2000. The California Golden Overtones, founded in 1984, have a very similar repertoire to the Octet. It is a tradition for every Berkeley a cappella group to perform under the campus' iconic Sather Gate each week at different times during the week; Artists in Resonance performs Mondays at Noon, Noteworthy performs Tuesdays at 12:30PM, DeCadence performs Wednesdays at Noon, The Men's Octet performs Wednesdays at 1pm, and the Golden Overtones performs Fridays at 1pm. In addition to a Capella, Berkeley is host to a myriad of other performing arts groups in comedy, dance, acting and instrumental music. A few examples include Jericho! Improv & Sketch Comedy, The Movement, Taiko drumming, BareStage student musical theater, the Remedy Music Project, and Main Stacks Competitive Hip Hop Dance Team.

Since 1967, students and staff jazz musicians have had an opportunity to perform and study with the University of California Jazz Ensembles. Under the direction of Dr. David W. Tucker, who was hired by the Cal Band as a composer, arranger, and associate director, but was later asked to direct the jazz ensembles as it grew in popularity and membership, the group grew rapidly from one big band to multiple big bands, numerous combos, and numerous instrumental classes with multiple instructors. For several decades it hosted the Pacific Coast Collegiate Jazz Festival, part of the American Collegiate Jazz Festival, a competitive forum for student musicians. PCCJF brought jazz luminaries such as Hubert Laws, Sonny Rollins, Freddie Hubbard, and Ed Shaughnessy to the Berkeley campus as performers, clinicians, and adjudicators. The festival later included high school musicians. The jazz ensembles proved to be an effective recruitment tool, many high school musicians interested in both strong academics and jazz finding that the campus met both interests. Numerous alumni have had successful careers in jazz performance and education including Michael Wolff and Andy Narell.

UC Berkeley also hosts a large number of conferences, talks, and musical and theatrical performances. Many of these events, including the Annual UC Berkeley Sociological Research Symposium, are completely planned and organized by undergraduate students.


UC Berkeley's sports teams compete in intercollegiate athletics as the California Golden Bears. They participate in the NCAA's Division I-A as a member of the Pacific-12 Conference. The official school colors, established in 1873 by a committee of students, are Yale Blue and California Gold.[101] Yale Blue was chosen because many of the university's founders were Yale University graduates (for example Henry Durant, the first university president), while California Gold was selected to represent the Golden State of California. The California Golden Bears have a long history of excellence in athletics, having won national titles in football, men's basketball, baseball, softball, men's and women's crew, men's gymnastics, men's tennis, men's and women's swimming, men's water polo, men's Judo, men's track, and men's rugby. In addition, Cal athletes have won numerous individual NCAA titles in track, gymnastics, swimming and tennis. On January 31, 2009, the school's Hurling club made athletic history by defeating Stanford in the first collegiate hurling match ever to be played on American soil.

California finished in first place[102] in the 2007–2008 Fall U.S. Sports Academy Directors' Cup standings (Formerly the Sears Cup), which measures the best overall collegiate athletic programs in the country, with points awarded for national finishes in NCAA sports. Cal finished with 370 points. California finished in ninth place[103] in the 2006–07 U.S. Sports Academy Directors' Cup. With 1030.00 points, this is Cal's highest point value in the history of UC Berkeley. California finished in sixth place[104] in the NACDA Director's Cup standings, with points awarded for national finishes in NCAA sports. With 865.5 points, Cal's seventh place finish is the highest in the school's history.

California - Stanford rivalry

UC Rally Committee running Cal flags across the Memorial Stadium field at the 2002 Big Game. (Note the Stanford visitors section on the left and the UC Berkeley alumni section on the right.)

The Golden Bears' traditional arch-rivalry is with the Stanford Cardinal. The most anticipated sporting event between the two universities is the annual football game dubbed the Big Game, and it is celebrated with spirit events on both campuses. Since 1933, the winner of the Big Game has been awarded custody of the Stanford Axe.

One of the most famous moments in Big Game history occurred during the 85th Big Game on November 20, 1982. In what has become known as "the band play" or simply The Play, Cal scored the winning touchdown in the final seconds with a kickoff return that involved a series of laterals and the Stanford marching band rushing onto the field.

National championships

Berkeley teams have won national championships in baseball (2), men's basketball (2), men's crew (15), women's crew (3), football (5), men's golf (1), men's gymnastics (4), men's lacrosse (1), men's rugby (24), softball (1), men's swimming (2), women's swimming (1), men's tennis (1), men's track & field (1), and men's water polo (13).

Notable alumni, faculty and staff

26 alumni and 26 past and present full-time faculty are counted among the 70 Nobel laureates associated with the university. The Turing Award, the "Nobel Prize of computer science", has been awarded to nine alumni and six past and present full-time faculty.

Alumni have been involved in the field of politics and international relations, one of whom is Nicholas A. Veliotes (1928-). Veliotes went on to become the Ambassador to the countries of Jordan (1978-1981) and Egypt (1984-1986), among holding many other highly prestigious job titles and positions throughout his lengthy career.

Alumni have written novels and screenplays that have attracted Oscar-caliber talent. Irving Stone (BA 1923) wrote the novel Lust for Life, which was later made into an Academy Award–winning film of the same name starring Kirk Douglas as Vincent van Gogh. Stone also wrote The Agony and the Ecstasy, which was later made into a film of the same name starring Oscar winner Charlton Heston as Michelangelo. Mona Simpson (BA 1979) wrote the novel Anywhere But Here, which was later made into a film of the same name starring Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon. Terry McMillan (BA 1986) wrote How Stella Got Her Groove Back, which was later made into a film of the same name starring Oscar-nominated actress Angela Bassett. Randi Mayem Singer (BA 1979) wrote the screenplay for Mrs. Doubtfire, which starred Oscar winning actor Robin Williams and Oscar winning actress Sally Field. Audrey Wells (BA 1981) wrote the screenplay The Truth About Cats & Dogs, which starred Oscar-nominated actress Uma Thurman. James Schamus (BA 1982, MA 1987, PhD 2003) has collaborated on screenplays with Oscar winning director Ang Lee on the Academy Award winning movies Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Brokeback Mountain.

Alumni have made important contributions to science. Some have concentrated their studies on the very small universe of atoms and molecules. Nobel laureate William F. Giauque (BS 1920, PhD 1922) investigated chemical thermodynamics, Nobel laureate Willard Libby (BS 1931, PhD 1933) pioneered radiocarbon dating, Nobel laureate Willis Lamb (BS 1934, PhD 1938) examined the hydrogen spectrum, Nobel laureate Hamilton O. Smith (BA 1952) applied restriction enzymes to molecular genetics, Nobel laureate Robert Laughlin (BA math 1972) explored the fractional quantum Hall effect, and Nobel laureate Andrew Fire (BA math 1978) helped to discover RNA interference-gene silencing by double-stranded RNA. Nobel laureate Glenn T. Seaborg (PhD 1937) collaborated with Albert Ghiorso (BS 1913) to discover 12 chemical elements, such as Americium, Berkelium, and Californium. Carol Greider (PhD 1987), professor of molecular biology and genetics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in medicine for discovering a key mechanism in the genetic operations of cells, an insight that has inspired new lines of research into cancer, and Daniel Kahneman was awarded the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for his work in Prospect theory.

John N. Bahcall (BS 1956) worked on the Standard Solar Model and the Hubble Space Telescope,[107] resulting in a National Medal of Science.[107] Peter Smith (BS 1969) was the principal investigator and project leader for the $420 million NASA robotic explorer Phoenix,[108] which physically confirmed the presence of water on the planet Mars for the first time.[109] Astronauts James van Hoften (BS 1966), Margaret Rhea Seddon (BA 1970), Leroy Chiao (BS 1983), and Rex Walheim (BS 1984) have physically reached out to the stars, orbiting the earth in NASA's fleet of space shuttles.

Undergraduate alumni have founded or co-founded such companies as Apple Computer,[110] Intel,[111] LSI Logic [112] The Gap,[113] MySpace,[114] PowerBar,[115] Berkeley Systems,[116] Bolt, Beranek and Newman [117] (which created a number of underlying technologies that govern the Internet), Chez Panisse,[118] GrandCentral (known now as Google Voice),[119] Advent Software,[120] HTC Corporation,[121] VIA Technologies,[121] Marvell Technology Group,[122],[116] Opsware,[123] RedOctane,[124] SanDisk,[125] Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker,[126] VMware,[127] and Zilog,[128] while graduate school alumni have co-founded companies such as DHL,[129] KeyHole Inc (known now as Google Earth),[130] Sun Microsystems,[131] and The Learning Company.[132] Berkeley alumni have also led various technology companies such as Electronic Arts,[133] Google,[134] Adobe Systems,[135] and Qualcomm.[136]

Berkeley alumni nurtured a number of key technologies associated with the personal computer and the development of the Internet.[137] Unix was created by alumnus Ken Thompson (BS 1965, MS 1966) along with colleague Dennis Ritchie. Alumni such as L. Peter Deutsch[138][139][140] (PhD 1973), Butler Lampson (PhD 1967), and Charles P. Thacker (BS 1967)[141] worked with Ken Thompson on Project Genie and then formed the ill-fated US Department of Defense-funded Berkeley Computer Corporation (BCC), which was scattered throughout the Berkeley campus in non-descript offices to avoid anti-war protestors.[142] After BCC failed, Deutsch, Lampson, and Thacker joined Xerox PARC, where they developed a number of pioneering computer technologies, culminating in the Xerox Alto that inspired the Apple Macintosh. In particular, the Alto used a computer mouse, which had been invented by Doug Engelbart (B.Eng 1952, Ph.D. 1955). Thompson, Lampson, Engelbart, and Thacker[143] all later received a Turing Award. Also at Xerox PARC was Ronald V. Schmidt (BS 1966, MS 1968, PhD 1971), who became known as "the man who brought Ethernet to the masses".[144] Another Xerox PARC researcher, Charles Simonyi (BS 1972), pioneered the first WYSIWIG word processor program and was recruited personally by Bill Gates to join the fledgling company known as Microsoft to create Microsoft Word. Simonyi later became the first repeat space tourist, blasting off on Russian Soyuz rockets to work at the International Space Station orbiting the earth.

In 1977, a graduate student in the computer science department named Bill Joy (MS 1982) assembled [145] the original Berkeley Software Distribution, commonly known as BSD Unix. Joy, who went on to co-found Sun Microsystems, also developed the original version of the terminal console editor vi, while Ken Arnold (BA 1985) created Curses, a terminal control library for Unix-like systems that enables the construction of text user interface (TUI) applications. Working alongside Joy at Berkeley were undergraduates William Jolitz (BS 1997) and his future wife Lynne Jolitz (BA 1989), who together created 386BSD, a version of BSD Unix that runs on Intel CPUs and which evolved into the BSD family of free operating systems and the Darwin operating system underlying Apple Mac OS X.[146] Eric Allman (BS 1977, MS 1980) created SendMail, a Unix mail transfer agent that delivers 70% of the email in the world.[147]

The XCF, an undergraduate research group located in Soda Hall, has been responsible for a number of notable software projects, including GTK+ (created by Peter Mattis, BS 1997), The GIMP (Spencer Kimball, BS 1996), and the initial diagnosis of the Morris worm.[148] In 1992 Pei-Yuan Wei,[149] an undergraduate at the XCF, created ViolaWWW, one of the first graphical web browsers. ViolaWWW was the first browser to have embedded scriptable objects, stylesheets, and tables. In the spirit of Open Source, he donated the code to Sun Microsystems, inspiring Java applets( Kim Polese (BS 1984) was the original product manager for Java at Sun Microsystems.) ViolaWWW also inspired researchers at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications to create the Mosaic web browser,[150] a pioneering web browser that became Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Collectively, alumni have won at least twenty Academy Awards. Gregory Peck (BA 1939), nominated for four Oscars during his career, won an Oscar for acting in To Kill a Mockingbird. Chris Innis (BA 1991) won the 2010 Oscar for film editing for her work on best picture winner, The Hurt Locker. Walter Plunkett (BA 1923 ) won an Oscar for costume design (for An American in Paris). Freida Lee Mock (BA 1961) and Charles H. Ferguson (BA 1978) have each [151][152] won an Oscar for documentary filmmaking. Mark Berger (BA 1964) has won four Oscars for sound mixing and is an adjunct professor at UC Berkeley.[153] Edith Head (BA 1918), who was nominated for 34 Oscars during her career, won eight Oscars for costume design. Joe Letteri (BA 1981 [154]) has won four Oscars for Best Visual Effects in the James Cameron film Avatar and the Peter Jackson films King Kong, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King.[155]

Alumni have collectively won at least twenty-five Emmy Awards: Jon Else (BA 1968) for cinematography; Andrew Schneider (BA 1973) for screenwriting; Linda Schacht (BA 1966, MA 1981), two for broadcast journalism;[156][157] Christine Chen (dual BA's 1990), two for broadcast journalism;[158] Kristen Sze (BA), two for broadcast journalism;[159] Kathy Baker (BA 1977), three for acting; Ken Milnes (BS 1977), four for broadcasting technology; and Leroy Sievers (BA),[160] twelve for production.

Alumni collectively have won at least eight Pulitzer Prizes. Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Marguerite Higgins (BA 1941) was a pioneering female war correspondent[161][162] who covered World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.[163] Novelist Robert Penn Warren (MA 1927) won three Pulitzer Prizes,[164] including one for his novel All the King's Men, which was later made into an Academy Award winning [165] movie. Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Rube Goldberg (BS 1904) invented the comically complex—yet ultimately trivial—contraptions known as Rube Goldberg machines . Journalist Alexandra Berzon (MA 2006) won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009,[166] and journalist Matt Richtel (BA 1989), who also co-authors the comic strip Rudy Park under the pen name of "Theron Heir",[167] won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting.[168] Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Leon Litwack (BA[169] 1951, PhD 1958 ) taught as a professor at UC Berkeley for 43 years;[170] three other UC Berkeley professors have also received the Pulitzer Prize.

Alumni have acted in classic television series that are still broadcast on TV today. Karen Grassle (BA 1965) played the mother Caroline Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie, Jerry Mathers (BA 1974) starred in Leave it to Beaver, and Roxann Dawson (BA 1980) portrayed B'Elanna Torres on Star Trek: Voyager.

Former undergraduates have participated in the contemporary music industry, such as Grateful Dead bass guitarist Phil Lesh, The Police drummer Stewart Copeland,[171] Rolling Stone Magazine founder Jann Wenner, The Bangles lead singer Susanna Hoffs (BA 1980), Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz, MTV correspondent Suchin Pak (BA 1997),[172] AFI musicians Davey Havok and Jade Puget (BA 1996), and solo artist Marié Digby (Say It Again). People Magazine included Third Eye Blind lead singer and songwriter Stephan Jenkins (BA 1987) in the magazine's list of "50 Most Beautiful People".[173]

Alumni have also participated in the world of sports. Tennis athlete Helen Wills Moody (BA 1925) won 31 Grand Slam titles, including eight singles titles at Wimbledon. Tarik Glenn (BA 1999) is a Super Bowl XLI champion. Michele Tafoya (BA 1988) is a sports television reporter for ABC Sports and ESPN.[174] Sports agent Leigh Steinberg ( BA 1970, JD 1973) has represented professional athletes such as Steve Young, Troy Aikman, and Oscar de la Hoya; Steinberg has been called the real-life inspiration[175] for the title character in the Oscar-winning [176] film Jerry Maguire (portrayed by Tom Cruise). Matt Biondi (BA 1988) won eight Olympic gold medals during his swimming career, in which he participated in three different Olympics. At the Beijing Olympics in 2008, Natalie Coughlin (BA 2005) became the first American female athlete in modern Olympic history[177] to win six medals in one Olympics. (A panel of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit models voted Coughlin as one of the Top 20 Best-Looking Female Athletes.[178][179])

See also


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Further reading

  • Brechin, Gray (1999). Imperial San Francisco. UC Press Ltd. ISBN 0-520-21568-0. 
  • Cerny, Susan Dinkelspiel (2001). Berkeley Landmarks: An Illustrated Guide to Berkeley, California's Architectural Heritage. Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association. ISBN 0-9706676-0-4. 
  • Freeman, Jo (2003). At Berkeley in the Sixties: The Education of an Activist, 1961–1965. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-21622-2. 
  • Helfand, Harvey (2001). University of California, Berkeley. Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN 1-56898-293-3. 
  • Rorabaugh, W. J. (1990). Berkeley at War: The 1960s. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-506667-7. 
  • Wong, Geoffrey (May 2001). A Golden State of Mind. Trafford Publishing. ISBN 1-55212-635-8. 

External links

Coordinates: 37°52′12″N 122°15′32″W / 37.870°N 122.259°W / 37.870; -122.259

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