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Faculty obituaries

Each year, Media Relations writes a limited number of obituaries about UC Berkeley faculty members, doing so when an individual's death is of such consequence that the news media will likely report on it.

We rely heavily on the deceased professor's school, department or college for help gathering information for the obituary and, at times, for help writing it. In such cases, Media Relations plays an advisory role to these writers, then edits the final copy and releases it to the media.

We are most likely to write an obituary for a faculty member who was very prominent in his/her field, made contributions that the general public could appreciate, and who has colleagues on campus who are knowledgeable about his/her academic contributions and can be quoted in the obituary and by reporters.

Please contact Media Relations immediately if you have news of a faculty death. Obituaries must be written in a timely way for the news media.

A faculty obituary requires:

  • Date, location and cause of death
  • Academic title
  • Birth date and birthplace
  • College degrees obtained
  • Date of hire at UC Berkeley and (if applicable) retirement date
  • Major accomplishments
  • Contact information for a few people who can be quoted about the academic contributions of the deceased
  • Titles and dates of major publications
  • Significant awards and honors
  • Contact information for a family members or someone on campus representing the family
  • Names and hometowns of the deceased's survivors
  • A high quality photo to accompany the obituary
  • Memorial service information
  • Where to send memorial contributions
The following are recent examples of obituaries published by UC Berkeley Media Relations:

• Charles Desoer, professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences
• Susanna Barrows, professor emerita of history

Staff and student obituaries

In general, Media Relations does not write or distribute staff or student obituaries. Volunteers may provide the electronic Berkeleyan with staff obituaries for consideration. They can be emailed to The Berkeleyan does not publish student obituaries.