I want to offer my best wishes as we approach the winter holiday.
Our remarkable progress in recent months gives me optimism about the promise for teaching, research and public service at Berkeley. Each one of you can take pride in the many accomplishments that are a result of our collaboration and shared efforts.
Some people predicted violent protest would tear our campus apart following the Board of Regents' decision in July to end consideration of race, ethnicity and gender in student admissions, hiring and contracts. Instead, I have been deeply impressed by the depth of concern and the calm civility you have shown when you are discussing the issues and considering plans for action. Once again you have demonstrated your commitment to "excellence through diversity" by working together on the Berkeley Pledge and related efforts to preserve the diversity on our campus and keep our doors open to highly qualified students who reflect the rich mix of California's population.
Your work received high honors in the National Research Council study of research-doctorate programs. You deserve nothing less than top rankings. You have met the many challenges of the past decade and built academic programs that are unparalleled anywhere in the nation or the world.
It is no surprise to me that the finest students, faculty and staff continue to choose our campus to work and study. There is a spirit that distinguishes our academic community. You have never doubted that we can find a way to overcome barriers; time and again, you have made sure that teaching and research at Berkeley is unsurpassed.
Thank you for your fine work in 1995. May 1996 bring good fortune to you and continued good will to our campus community.