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Press Release

UC Berkeley Press Release

Cal Day offers something for all visitors

– More than 35,000 people are expected on Saturday, April 16, for Cal Day at the University of California, Berkeley. The annual open house is known for its non-stop activities, including tours, lectures, music and sports performances, and hands-on exhibits.

In addition to the usual festivities, there will be inaugural symposia honoring Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, whose inauguration is Friday, April 15. On Saturday, these hourly talks will be held on Cal Day at various locations on campus about such topics as immigrants in America, fighting public health threats, working women, and how Republicans win elections.

"Cal Day is one of the most important events we hold because we get to show all Californians the vast and varied wonders of their great university. And this year, in a series of special lectures by some of our most notable faculty, we are inviting everyone to explore with us the frontiers of knowledge first-hand," Birgeneau said.

Cal Day gives people the rare chance to see museum collections and laboratories that are usually only available to researchers. Among other Cal Day highlights will be the chancellor's "State of the Campus" address, a discussion of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami, rappelling clinics, fossil and bug exhibits, and performances by the campus symphony.

"Cal Day is a once-a-year opportunity to see the university from the inside out," said Diana Musto, Cal Day coordinator at UC Berkeley's Office of Public Affairs, which manages the event. "There's something for everyone."

Motorized cable cars will travel continuously around campus on 30-minute tours as student guides point out historical sights and Cal Day activities. Visitors can hop off to explore places and attend events along the way.

Cal Day attendees can see live animals alongside museum specimens in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, explore art and architecture studios, and attend a free University Symphony, UC Chamber Chorus or University Dance Theater performance.

Traditional crowd pleasers include a de rigueur visit to see the full-sized cast of a T. rex skeleton in the Museum of Paleontology - and for the daring, a try at the rappelling clinic put on at Wheeler Hall by the Department of Military Science.

Or, visitors can drop by 1011 Evans Hall between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. for some quick statistical research. Statistics professor Deborah Nolan will lead visitors in an interactive exploration of "Coincidences, Current Events & Gambling."

Sporting events include the Golden Bear Invitational Track Meet at Edwards Stadium from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Cal Rugby Regional Championships at Witter Rugby Field from noon to 3:30 p.m., a women's tennis match against rival Stanford, and demonstrations of handball, fencing and squash.

Kids will revel in the playful sights and sounds of the Calnival celebration on Sproul Plaza from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and in robotics demonstrations from 3 - 5 p.m. at Etcheverry Hall. Parents of UC Berkeley students can meet each other at the Cal Parents Hospitality tent in Dwinelle Plaza, or the whole family can learn the latest Cal fight song at Alumni House from 11 a.m. to noon.

To get a taste of college life, residence halls and student facilities will be open for tours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The campus will welcome newly admitted students and their families at the Haas Pavilion at 8:30 a.m., and all are invited to attend information sessions on academic programs, financial aid, housing and other campus services.

Birgeneau's "State of the Campus" address will be from 2 - 3 p.m. in 145 Dwinelle Hall.

Lectures by faculty will be held throughout the day. Highlights include:

- "2004 Giant Earthquake & Tsunami: Geophysical Observations & Lessons Learned." The Dec. 26 Indian Ocean earthquake was one of the largest ever recorded and caused more casualties than any other. Discover what scientists have learned about it and what those lessons tell us about future tsunami-generating quakes. Barbara Romanowicz, director of the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory, Pitzer Auditorium, 120 Latimer Hall, 2-3 p.m.

- "Is Anybody Out There?" Hear about UC Berkeley's current and future SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) projects. The search gets help from 5 million SETI@home volunteers who enjoy the small but captivating possibility that their computers will detect the first signal from a civilization beyond Earth. Dan Werthimer, SETI Project director, 1 Pimentel Hall, 11 a.m. - noon.

- "A Socratic Dialogue: A Country of Immigrants -- What Is an American?" Hear this panel discussion about what it means to be an American and a citizen of the world in the 21st century. Christopher Edley, dean of Boalt Hall; Michael Nacht, dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy; David Montejano, associate professor of ethnic studies; Lucas Guttentag, lecturer at Boalt Hall; and Maria Echaveste, former assistant to President Clinton, 145 Dwinelle Hall, noon-1:30 p.m.

- "The 1906 Earthquake: Then & Now." Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the 1906 earthquake. Learn how it led to a new scientific understanding of earthquakes and the San Andreas Fault. Bruce Bolt, professor emeritus of earth and planetary science, Pitzer Auditorium, 120 Latimer Hall, 10-11 a.m.

- "Proteins Misbehaving in Alzheimer's Disease." Learn how a cell-surface protein found throughout the body is defectively clipped to produce plaques in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease. Randy Schekman, professor of cell and developmental biology, 2060 Valley Life Sciences Building, 11 a.m. - noon.

- "No Child Left Behind -- Lofty Goals, Positive Effects, Unkept Promises & Unintended Consequences." Is the nation's "No Child Left Behind" program fulfilling its promise? David Pearson, dean of the Graduate School of Education; and education professors Judith Warren Little, and Alan Schoenfeld, 122 Wheeler Hall, 1-3 p.m.

Parking for Cal Day is free, but limited. Free shuttles will run all day between downtown Berkeley BART and campus attractions. For a more complete schedule of Cal Day events, visit http://www.berkeley.edu/calday/. That site includes a search engine for visitors to research what to see and do at specific times on April 16 and a slide show from last year's event.