Happy 150th birthday to UC Berkeley!
The University of California was founded on March 23, 1868, marking today as the 150th Charter Day. Here’s to another 150 years of torturing undergrads.
There’s an official event today at 11 a.m. in Haas Pavilion that will feature “a moving procession of alumni carrying class banners that date back to our beginning”, followed by a partay on Spieker Plaza. Entry is still available at the low low price of free.
To commemorate the occasion, Cal also has a list of highlights from the past 150 years. Taking a cue from them, what are some of the most quintessential Cal moments in your opinion? What are you favorite Cal-related memories?
Avinash Kunnath: If we’re talking about important Cal moments in general, Robert Sproul becoming president of the university comes to mind. Under Sproul’s stewardship, the university became the premier public institution in the world by seeking out private methods of fundraising (a dance that the university has continued on for decades after). He also went on a tour of major public institutions attracting the top talent. Sproul was Cal’s version of an academic Bo Shembechler, building the world’s greatest public university.
”Most Cal” moment: Hard to top the People’s Park protest of 1969, which led to Berkeley being stigmatized as Berzerkely and set back the university as an athletic destination (“Isn’t that where all them hippies live?” is still a common refrain on the recruiting trail). One thing many don’t realize is People’s Park was meant to originally be used for athletic training facilities and could have been a huge step for an athletic program that was already showing signs of foundering. It was a damaging result for a program in need of rejuvenation, and it led to a tradition of 40 years of indifference to athletics.