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Cash Appointed Interim University Relations Head

by Jesús Mena, Public Affairs
posted August 26, 1998

Maintaining the brisk momentum of the $1.1 billion Campaign for the New Century is one of the many challenges facing John Cash in his new role as interim vice chancellor of University Relations.

The campaign pulled in a record 70,000 contributions totaling $174.2 million this year. To continue its record pace, it must generate an average of $350,000 a day for the next two years. In his typically upbeat fashion, Cash said he is confident this tempo can be maintained.

"This country has a wonderful history of philanthropy," said Cash. "Cal supporters have responded extremely well to our appeals for support. I'm very optimistic about the future."

As interim vice chancellor replacing Vice Chancellor C. D. "Dan" Mote, who left to assume the presidency of the University of Maryland, Cash also must conduct the search for the new assistant vice chancellor for Public Affairs. Linda Weimer, who formerly held the position, resigned earlier this summer.

"Chancellor Berdahl has stressed the importance of public affairs to his administration," said Cash. "The campus needs someone who has depth in both media and governmental relations. We need to recruit an individual who can successfully communicate to alumni, donors and voters what a treasure this university is."

Cash enjoys his work as an administrator, but it is the time that he spends teaching a freshman seminar that he truly treasures. His class, "Revolution and Civil Conflict," studies manuscripts from European insurrections to the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

"The classes are my grounding," he said. "It's too easy to become isolated from the pulse of the campus, which is the students. I need to do it. I wouldn't trade it for anything."

Born in Glendale, Cash says his family is "a total product of the University of California." His grandmother attended the old Los Angeles Teachers' College, which eventually became UCLA. His father was a member of the first UCLA class to graduate from the Westwood campus.

"Clark Kerr was a god-like figure in my household," he said. "For my father, the Master Plan was a crowning achievement for California. He considered Berkeley the best university in the system."

Cash agreed with his father's assessment and went for the blue and gold. He received his BA in history with distinction from Berkeley in 1973 and his PhD in British history from the University of Chicago in 1983.

He first worked in development as a part-time researcher.

"I found the work fascinating and I think I was good at it," he said. His success led him to fund-raising career positions at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Mills College, then Stanford before being hired in 1993 to direct Berkeley's capital campaign.

Cash said private funds are essential to preserving the Berkeley Californians know and love.

"Raising private money is the best way to maintain our public character," he said. "The state simply cannot provide the level of support that is needed to execute our public charge."

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