Randall O. Parent, former deputy city attorney for the City and County of San Francisco, in July was named executive director of the California Alumni Association, representing graduates of the University of California, Berkeley campus. Parent, 46, succeeds James R. Burk, who retired from the position after serving since 1994.
The California Alumni Association was formed four years after the University of California opened its doors in 1868. It is one of the few independent alumni associations in the country, and has received numerous awards for its programs. With 92,000 members, it is one of the largest dues-paying associations of alumni in the world.
Randy Parent was born in Berkeley and raised in Clayton. He graduated from Clayton Valley High School in Concord in 1973. His parents, both teachers with degrees from Berkeley, nurtured an abiding love for Cal. Randy Parent entered the Cal campus as a freshman in 1973, as a music major, and played various brass instruments in the Cal Band all through college. He was honored by receiving the Bell Award as the most valuable member of the band in 1977 and being named senior manager of the band his final year. A highlight of his college years was helping to lead the Cal band's highly successful Bicentennial Tour in 1976, a six-week, 10,000-mile trip around the country, playing before large and enthusiastic crowds.
After graduating from Cal in 1977, Parent earned his teaching credential at Cal State Hayward, then became band director at Logan High School in Union City, where he took a small and struggling program, designed uniforms that looked "a lot like the Cal Band's," and turned things around. He was named district teacher of the year for his efforts with the school's choir and band, which grew from 35 to over 200 and was picked to perform at the Fiesta Bowl and at the San Francisco Symphony's Black and White Ball.
Parent later became a school administrator, directing the arts, athletics, and student activities for the New Haven Unified School District in Union City from 1985 until 1991. After 12 years in education, he decided to move on. Attending USF's law school at night, he earned his degree in 1993. After three years representing public schools for a private firm, he became deputy city attorney for the City of San Francisco. Among his projects there, he served as special counsel to the city architect and project manager for the City Hall renovation, and defended the city in construction-related litigation over San Francisco International Airport.
Randy Parent lives with his wife, Carman, and their two sons in Danville. As he begins supervising a staff of 45, with offices in Berkeley and Los Angeles, he relishes the prospect. "I'll be working with students, administrators, and of course alumni, all of us in support of the greatest university in the world," Parent says of his new job. "I've been a 'Go Bears' kind of guy since I was four years old and sat on my dad's lap at football games. The chance to marry that kind of passion with my professional life, to come back to Cal in this position, is a fabulous, wonderful opportunity. I'm looking forward to doing this for a long time."