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UC Berkeley Web Feature

Text of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences citation presented to Chancellor Birgeneau:

American Academy of Arts & Sciences
Founders Award

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences was founded by a group of patriots who devoted their lives "to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent and virtuous people."

For the extraordinary contributions of individuals who share the founders' ideals, the American Academy recognizes

Robert J. Birgeneau

The touchstones of your life are an abiding commitment to excellence in teaching and research and a long-standing determination to uphold the principles of access and inclusion. As one of the world's most widely cited experimental physicists, you have exhibited a rare blend of ingenuity and tenacity that has led to groundbreaking discoveries about the fundamental properties of materials. You have been honored for your scientific achievements and for your ability to challenge and inspire students and colleagues.

You have worked tirelessly to fight discrimination of all kinds. As Dean of the School of Science at MIT, you increased the number of women faculty members by fifty percent. As President of the University of Toronto and now as Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, you have consistently championed the contributions of people of diverse backgrounds and cultures.

The first in your family to graduate from high school, you have made access to higher education for all a consistent priority. Within and beyond Sather Gate, you have embraced Berkeley's tradition of public education and public service, and forged new relationships with schools, government, and industry. In a remarkably short time, you have become a respected leader on campus and a towering symbol of strength throughout the community.

You have crafted a brilliant career as a researcher, educator, and administrator and have become a stalwart champion of the public university. For you, teaching, research, and public service are inseparable. The academic community is the beneficiary of your creative mind, your generous spirit, and your deep commitment to equity and excellence. On the occasion of the 225th anniversary, we are proud to confer upon you the Founders Award of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Awarded this Eighteenth day of March, Two thousand and six
San Francisco, California

Patricia Meyer Spacks, President

Leslie Cohen Berlowitz, Chief Executive Officer