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Berkeleyan

Berkeleyan

 After years of peripatetic Cal Day service, Oski is getting his own "land" this year. (Bonnie Azab Powell photo)

Mark your calendars for Cal Day 2007

21 March 2007

Which event combines the best of a science fair, music festival, museum crawl, lecture series, sports tournament, dance showcase, and fun-fair? It's Cal Day - the Berkeley campus's spring open house.

As usual, the campus plans to pull out all the stops for its annual giant (and free) event, set this year for Saturday, April 21. The "door count" (topping 35,000 visitors) attests to Cal Day's popularity - although with 1,200 stunning acres and dozens of campus venues to explore (some of them open only to researchers the other 364 days of the year), there are plenty of ways for even the crowd-shy to find excitement.

An online schedule, available by April 1, will help visitors wrap their minds around more than 300 offerings: faculty lectures (on the arts, science, politics and current events, health, cinema.), dance and music performances, sports (including rugby, baseball, softball, and women's tennis teams battling intercollegiate rivals), a children's book festival, hands-on science activities, and free entry to the campus's museums and libraries.

For the first time this year, young Cal Day visitors can play to their hearts' content under OskiLand's big tent in Memorial Glade while their older siblings test their mettle on a nearby rock-climbing wall. For those interested in learning more about energy issues and global warming - and Berkeley's emerging role as an international center for energy research - look for offerings at all points of the learning curve: lectures on potential alternative fuels, tours of ecologically friendly "green" dorm rooms, demos of engineering students' solar-powered vehicle (see the Cal Day program for a complete list of energy-related offerings).

Those concerned about another urgent social issue, the status of the prison and justice system, will have the chance to meet the 2007 recipient of the Peter E. Haas Public Service Award - Jody Lewen ('02, rhetoric Ph.D.), who directs the only on-site degree-granting program in the California state-prison system (at San Quentin State Prison, taught by dozens of talented grad-student volunteers).

For newly admitted students and their families, the day includes an 8:30 a.m. welcome event in Haas Pavilion with Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, guided tours of campus and residence halls, and panel discussions featuring current Cal undergrads, there to answer questions and offer frank opinions on academic planning and life at Cal.

Cal Day stretches from 9 a.m. (8:30 a.m. for those attending the welcome session) until 4 p.m. Parking is free but limited, and public- transportation options abound (including BART, AC Transit, and free campus shuttles).

For the complete Cal Day program, visit calday.berkeley.edu.