Clinton Comes to Cal
Jan. 29, 2002 Bill Clinton became the seventh president to visit UC
Berkeley. The atmosphere was electric. Check out the slide
show of Clinton's afternoon here at Cal. Jeff Wason
of entire talk and interview | Select
Additional stories | Transcript
of talk and interview
education, economic development key to building a peaceful, global village
Diane Ainsworth, Public Affairs
BERKELEY - Globalization
has created a "world without walls," an "explosion of
democracy and diversity within democracy," former president Bill
Clinton told a campus audience on Tuesday. But a global community, he
said, cannot thrive unless people believe that common humanity is more
important than individual differences.
Clinton spoke to
an enthusiastic crowd at Zellerbach Auditorium, in the first campus appearance
by a current or former U.S. president since John F. Kennedys riveting
speech to a capacity crowd in Memorial Stadium in 1962.
"A world without
walls is the only sustainable world," Clinton told a crowd of 2,000
at Zellerbach and an overflow crowd watching a video simulcast of the
speech in Haas Pavilion. The event was also broadcast live over the web.
Clinton warned that
even in a global world with fewer barriers, "If the world is dominated
by people who believe that their races, their religions, their ethnic
differences are the most important factors, then a huge number of people
will perish in this century."
Governor Gray Davis,
also on hand for the afternoon speech, thanked Clinton for years of leadership
and for supporting efforts to build a seismically viable replacement
for the eastern span of the Bay Bridge. Davis had attended a groundbreaking
for the new bridge earlier in the day.
The governor commended
Berkeleys pioneering research and its role in two of the four new
UC-based centers for science and innovation the Center for Information
Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), based at Berkeley,
and a center for bioengineering, known as QB3.
he said, are emblematic of Californias continuing success at staying
at the forefront of the Internet and biotechnology revolution.
introduced Clinton and presented him with the Berkeley Medal, the campuss
highest honor. Amid applause and a standing ovation, Clinton joked that
this was "the nicest welcome ever given to a Stanford parent."
Fresh from a trip
to the Middle East, Clinton discussed globalization and a "breathtaking"
explosion of information technologies and advances in science and biotechnology.
"When I took
the office of president in 1993, there were only 50 sites on the World
Wide Web five zero," Clinton said. "When I left office,
there were 350 million and rising. There are probably around 500 million
At the same time,
he said, the world has seen major breakthroughs in diseases such as breast
cancer, AIDS, Parkinsons and Alzheimers.
"And quite soon,"
he said, "young women who come home from the hospitals with their
will have little gene cards that say here are
your childs strengths and weaknesses
. This is going to happen
in the lifetimes of young people in this audience."
Despite such advances,
Clinton noted, one half of the worlds people have been left out
of globalizations new economy, "and not surprisingly, they
dont think much of it."
"Half the people
on Earth live with less than $2 a day," he said. "A billion
people with less than $1 a day. A billion people go to bed hungry every
night and a billion and a half one quarter of the people on Earth
never get a clean glass of water."
Rich nations must
open their markets to poor countries, buy more products and create economic
empowerment to reduce global poverty, and in so doing "spread the
benefits and shrink the burdens" of globalization, Clinton said.
His visit was sponsored
by the Chancellors Office and the Graduate School of Journalism,
in association with Cal Performances and City Arts and Lectures. He stopped
in Berkeley after a Monday night fundraiser in San Francisco for Sen.
Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). Since leaving office, Clinton has spent much
of his time traveling, working on his memoirs and overseeing plans for
construction of a Clinton Presidential Library.