And so, with a flourish, University of California President Benjamin Ide Wheeler returned from the 19th century to set Cal's sights on the 21st century. On a moonlit Sept. 20 evening, Wheeler (actually, actor John Argue, '61, M.A. '65) rode up to Doe Library on horseback to address nearly 600 Cal alumni and friends at a gala dinner to kick off The Promise of Berkeley - Campaign for the New Century.
The New Century Campaign, which seeks to raise $1.1 billion by the year 2001, sets the most ambitious fund-raising goal in history for a public university. At a Sept.19 press conference announcing the UC Regents' approval of the campaign, Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien said that this drive emphasizes student, faculty and program support, as well as public outreach.
"This campaign is not just about money," Tien told reporters. "It's about people. It is a bold effort on our part to Berkeley to continue its leading role as innovator into the next century."
According to Chancellor Tien, public universities have hit a historic crossroad as government funding declines while the costs of teaching and research rise. At the same time, the fast pace of technological innovation escalates the need for universities as generators of new knowledge and mindpower.
"Traditionally 'public' has referred only to institutions supported by state taxes," Tien said. "We think the state definitely has a continuing responsibility to provide that core support. But we are challenging the private sector to invest in Berkeley for the public good. We are encouraging them to help create the new public support network we need to continue as a world center of scholarship and opportunity."
Already, alumni and friends have committed more than $480 million during the campaign's "quiet phase" since July 1, 1993. Peter E. Haas, '40, chair of the Chancellor's Campaign Cabinet, led other influential Cal supporters in securing leadership gifts.
These commitments include $15 million from Intel's Gordon Moore and his wife, Betty, for the New Materials Initiative; $15 million from alumni and friends in Taiwan for the East Asian Library and Studies Center; $15 million from Peter and Mimi Haas for the campaign's highest priorities; and the largest gift ever to Cal - a $25 million anonymous contribution for the life and physical sciences.
In its public phase, the New Century Campaign will appeal to Berkeley's extensive base of 321,000 alumni and friends worldwide. About 10 percent of all alumni give to the campus - a low level of participation compared to other top universities. Already, however, there has been a marked increase in giving. Since 1993, Cal has received 167,600 separate donations from alumni and friends.
The campaign's public phase will be led by national co-chairs F. Warren Hellman, '55, John F. Hotchkis, '54, Carl J. Stoney Jr., '67, J.D. '70, M.B.A. '71, and Nadine M. Tang, M.S.W. '75. They will oversee an international network of volunteers charged with raising support for Cal.