Cal Day '97 provided an enticing mix of history and tradition with technology and innovation.
All in all, Cal Day organizers declared the April 19 event the biggest and most successful yet, with visitors ignoring threatening skies to mob lectures, entertainment and events in every corner of the campus.
"Cal Day has become our biggest event of the year and this year's was the best ever. It is so successful because everyone on campus pitches in to give their all and make so many new friends for Berkeley," said Linda Weimer, assistant vice chancellor for public affairs.
The 129th Charter Anniversary Ceremony provided a glorious taste of campus tradition, as alumni representatives from years past joined faculty and staff in a procession to start the festivities on Dwinelle Plaza.
Chancellor Tien was honored with two surprises. State Sen. Barbara Lee presented him with a Senate resolution commending him for his seven years as chancellor.
And, in a highlight of the ceremony, Vice Chancellor Carol Christ and Academic Senate Chair John Quigley presented Tien the Berkeley Medal, the campus's highest honor.
In introducing Tien, Princeton University President Harold Shapiro saluted his vision as a leader in higher education.
"We have only to look around us-a vibrant community of talented students and world-renowned scholars-to see what such a vision can accomplish when it is pursued with extraordinary vigor, embracing spirit and thoughtful courage."
Meanwhile, on the technology front-a live Cal Day-Cam provided up-to-the second views of Dwinelle Plaza for the online Cal Day Scrapbook. The web site remains online for those who want to revisit the day. Check out it from the campus home page, www.berkeley.edu.
As for innovation, the day provided a backdrop for the unveiling of a stunning new Bay Bridge design proposed by two Berkeley professors (see story above).
All day long, the campus was filled with visitors. Many took advantage of the free shuttles to cover as much ground as possible.
Sarah Kulber, a graduate of the class of '62, said, "I've been to four Cal Days and always thought it was great. I'm also meeting some old friends here so it's a great reunion for me."
It has also evolved into a major day for prospective students and their parents, with admissions, financial aid and CalSO busy from start to finish.
High school senior Alex Franco came to visit from Santa Ana. "I really like the architecture, and the people. Everybody here thinks for themselves. I was deciding between Berkeley and UCLA, and I want to come here."
Cal Day next year will be Saturday, April 25.