University of California at Berkeley

New Century Campaign

A Closeup Look

Improving Student Life: $60 million

Amid the nationwide debate over undergraduate education, Berkeley has earned high marks for making instruction and student life more intimate, engaging and rewarding. Funding for educational initiatives, electronic learning and research tools, and new athletic facilities will help extend to more students the rich possibilities of the Cal experience.

Jaime Palomo

When Berkeley graduate Jaime Palomo came to the U.S. as a refugee from El Salvador, he was six years old and spoke no English. His father, a dishwasher, had little to offer his son except the American dream: success through hard work and a solid education. Today, Jaime is a law student at New York University and hopes to help the homeless when he graduates. For him, a pivotal experience was the mentor-ship he found with a Berkeley professor through the Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program, which gives undergraduates small grants to participate in research.

With funding from the program, Palomo worked with anthropology Professor John Ogbu exploring how best to help inner city youth succeed in school. "I think this is one of the very best programs for undergraduates provided by Berkeley," said Ogbu.

The Chancellor's Millennium Fund: $50 million

Gifts made without restriction as to their purpose, given with the foresight that the needs of Berkeley's scholars and students must change over time, are among the university's most valued.

The Chancellor's Millennium Fund, a reserve of endowed and expendable gifts, will enable campus leaders to take immediate action when new ideas appear and allocate resources where they will do the most good.

John Clarke

When Britain's Cambridge University tried to woo physicist John Clarke away from Berkeley by offering him its most prestigious chair in science, Chancellor Tien asked Clarke what it would take to keep him at Berkeley. Clarke asked for support -- not only for his own research -- but also to upgrade the appearance of Birge and LeConte halls. Resources from the Chancellor's Millennium Fund made these improvements possible.

In his renovated labs in LeConte, Clarke and his students are perfecting superconducting quantum interference devices. They are using these miniature devices, the world's most sensitive detectors of magnetic fields, in a variety of applications, including ultra sensitive nuclear magnetic resonance, the study of living cells and bacteria, and the non-destructive evaluation of steels.

Maintaining Academic Excellence: $130 million

For three consecutive decades, Berkeley has been ranked the nation's best overall academic institution in a comprehensive survey by the National Research Council. However, Berkeley falls short of its peers in one key area: recruitment and retention incentives.

Gifts to create distinguished professorships, faculty chairs, graduate fellowships and faculty research funds will help Berkeley attract and keep the very best scholars.

Pedro Noguera

In the midst of a four-year study of school violence, Pedro Noguera needed extra funds to analyze the data he was accumulating.

Thanks to a small grant from the Hellman Family Faculty Fund, which supports the research of promising junior faculty, he was able to able to continue his study with a minimum amount of disruption.

Now complete, his examination of urban schools -- this one in west Oakland -- and how they deal with issues related to violence and poverty already is influencing how schools deal with disruptive behavior.

Noguera's research has fostered the creation of special partnerships between schools and community organizations to provide services needed by disadvantaged students as an innovative way to address violence in the schools.

Such pro-active partnerships could evolve as models for other urban schools.

"The grant from this campaign allowed me to work on the research and address the problems rather than spend time pursuing government grants that are becoming increasingly difficult to acquire," said Noguera, who is now an associate professor of education.

Ensuring Educational Opportunity: $85 million

The expense of attending a first-rate public university is no longer within reach for many California families. Preserving the high caliber of Berkeley's student body now depends on our ability to attract and keep promising undergraduates regardless of their financial circumstances. Additional scholarships, along with funding for Ké12 outreach efforts, will sustain Berkeley's traditional commitment to educational opportunity.

Abel Guillen

Now a senior at Berkeley, Abel Guillen could easily have ended up on the streets.

During his years at McAteer High School in San Francisco, two of his cousins died in gang-related incidents.

But Guillen rejected the gangs and instead turned his energies to student government, football, and volunteering in his community.

His perseverance paid off. Thanks to a scholarship from the Incentive Awards Program, Guillen attends Berkeley and is working to achieve the American dream his immigrant parents have found so elusive.

He excels academically and serves in many organizations, including the student senate. This past summer, he received a highly competitive Woodrow Wilson Fellowship in Public Policy.

"The Incentive Awards Program has helped me get a first-class education and helped me to motivate other high school students, including my younger brother, to pursue higher education," he said. "In that sense, it's turned me into a role model for my community."

Pre-eminence In the Arts, Humanities, And Social Sciences: $100 million

Berkeley is renowned for the comprehensive excellence of its arts, humanities and social sciences programs -- a constellation that overall is ranked first in the nation.

Furthermore, with this impressive range of scholarly pursuits, Berkeley's library collections are among the most heavily used nationwide.

Endowments and capital support raised through the campaign will sustain the distinction of Berkeley's scholarship and creative expression in these fields.

Gillian Boal

In the masterful hands of Gillian Boal, crumbling relics of important writings at the Bancroft Library become like new again.

Combining centuries-old techniques with modern know-how, Boal and her conservation colleagues work to painstakingly restore priceless volumes to their original condition.

They couldn't have achieved so much without private gifts, which provided them with the necessary money to do the time-consuming work.

Donations to the campaign's Library Collections Fund will ensure that this conservation continues.

The conservation staff uses a range of repair remedies to bring books back to life.

Boal, who was trained in England, said conservation work requires a broad knowledge of paper and binding styles.

"It's like restoring an old building. The binding has to be appropriate to the time and place a book was published," she said.

"It requires care, knowledge and sensitivity."

Pre-eminence in the Sciences and Engineering: $129 million

As a large research university, Berkeley plays a critical role in keeping our economy robust and in tackling scientific and technological challenges. Campaign funding will help launch several initiatives to answer emerging questions calling for interdisciplinary collaboration. This campaign goal also seeks to protect the pursuit of knowledge and applied technology in fields of lasting importance.

Lisa Pruitt

When Lisa Pruitt chose her doctoral research area, her main motivations were intellectual curiosity and the fact that no one had yet explored the field. But her highly specific work -- how plastic polymers break down under repeated stress -- proved to be extremely relevant to a growing medical problem, the breakdown of artificial joints. While hard, smooth polyethylene plastic makes a good replacement for destroyed cartilage, it also deteriorates after 10 to 15 years of repeated use.

Pruitt, now an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, is investigating why the plastic breaks down and how to make it last longer. She hopes to develop an improved manufacturing method for the high-strength plastic, as well as less destructive sterilization procedures.

Gifts to the New Materials Initiative, to upgrade research space and buy state-of-the-art equipment, will help Berkeley scientists and engineers like Pruitt develop new materials for the next century.


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