NEWS RELEASE, 04/21/98
UC Berkeley's eighth chancellor,Robert M. Berdahl,
to be inaugurated this Friday in campus ceremony
BERKELEY -- On April 24, the most festive day in seven years at the University of California, Berkeley, Robert M. Berdahl will be inaugurated in a late morning ceremony as the eighth chancellor of the campus.
The inauguration also celebrates the 130th anniversary of the founding of the University of California.
Although Berdahl, 61, took office last July, it is traditional for UC Berkeley chancellors to be inaugurated around the time of the celebration of Charter Day, the university's anniversary. Inauguration also is a chance for the new chancellor, who has the 1997-98 school year nearly behind him, to formally present for the first time his vision for the campus.
Tickets to the inauguration ceremony and to events surrounding it were so popular that they already were gone last week. Tents have been ordered to accommodate the overflow crowds, and a forum on higher education was moved to a larger space because the response was double that expected.
"Chancellor Berdahl is being welcomed with open arms. So many people want to be here to honor him at his inauguration," said Colleen Rovetti, UC Berkeley director of development programs and special events.
Berdahl's speech is expected to include a call for the protection and promotion of UC Berkeley's research environment, including renewed support for the University Library; for more speedy and efficient campus policies and processes; for more access to faculty by freshmen; for the renewing and rebuilding of K-12 education in California; and for an atmosphere on campus that inspires students to community service.
The last UC Berkeley inauguration was in 1991, for Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien, whose special day had an international flavor. Both Berdahl and his wife, Margaret "Peg" Berdahl, helped plan the festivities and wanted them to showcase the campus and to exude warmth and personableness.
"The chancellor didn't want just a ceremony with a lot of people in robes sitting looking at the audience," said Rovetti, "but a warm presentation in which music would be played, images of the campus would be displayed on a screen on stage and there would be talk about the campus as a whole, not just talk about him."
Berdahl came to UC Berkeley last summer from the University of Texas at Austin, where he had been president since 1993. The chancellor's roots are Midwestern - he was born in South Dakota, attended college in the Midwest and also spent some of his professional years there.
Before Texas, he served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was a member of the University of Oregon's history faculty and was that campus's dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Friday's inaugural ceremony will be followed by a lunch with more than 500 guests including California legislators, local mayors, Nobel laureates, campus deans and Academic Senate and ASUC leaders. Later that day, panelists at a forum, "Higher Education in the 21st Century," will include UC President Richard C. Atkinson, UC President Emeritus Clark Kerr, current Stanford President Gerhard Casper and Stanford President Emeritus Donald Kennedy.
Related events on Thursday, April 23, include a noon concert in honor of the Berdahls, an ice cream social for students and a faculty and staff reception.
The main event, the inaugural ceremony, begins Friday at 10:30 a.m. in Zellerbach Auditorium with a long and colorful procession expected to last as long as 25 minutes - nearly one-quarter of the two-hour event. The procession actually will be five processions - of alumni, then staff, then UC Berkeley faculty, followed by visiting delegates and, finally, the platform party.
The platform party will include Berdahl, keynote speaker U.S. Secretary of Health and Human
Services Donna Shalala; UC President Richard Atkinson, present and former UC Regents, former UC Berkeley chancellors, chancellors from other UC campuses and the chancellor's cabinet.
The red regalia that Berdahl wore to receive his PhD in history in 1965 from the University of Minnesota and brought with him to UC Berkeley will be in storage that day. He instead will wear a new blue academic gown to reflect UC Berkeley's colors.
The dozens of alumni participating in the procession will hail from 49 different classes. The oldest will be from the Class of 1935, the youngest from the Class of 1994. Some 145 staff and 105 faculty will take part in their respective processions.
Forty visiting delegates from other institutions will enter the auditorium in order of the age of their college or university. A representative from Harvard University will enter first, since the school was founded in 1636.
Chair of the Board of Regents Meredith Khachigian will preside over the inauguration using an 18-page cue book required to direct the complex and lengthy event.
The ceremony will be enhanced by slides of the campus shown on screens about eight feet above the stage. Special music will include a solo performance of "Liebeslied," or "Love's Sorrow," by Fritz Kreisler, played by Berdahl's son-in-law, John Baldwin, who is a professional violinist, and a UC Choral Ensemble piece, "Voices that Care," composed by a current UC Berkeley student.
In addition to the inaugural address, the program also includes the keynote speech by Shalala, the presentation to Clark Kerr of the Presidential Medal, and the reading of greetings to Berdahl.
Immediately after the ceremony, a reception for all in attendance will be held on Lower Sproul Plaza, and a carillon concert from the campus's campanile will begin.
The position of chancellor was established at UC Berkeley in 1952, when the UC Board of Regents decided each campus should have its own chancellor. The campus's first seven chancellors were Clark Kerr (1952-58), Glenn Seaborg (1958-61), Edward Strong (1961-65), Roger Heyns (1965-71), Albert Bowker (1971-80), Ira Michael Heyman (1980-90) and Chang-Lin Tien (1990-1997).
The Inauguration of Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl as Eighth Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley April 23-24, 1998
THURSDAY, APRIL 23
Opening Ceremony Concert in honor of Chancellor and Mrs. Berdahl Noon-1 p.m, Hertz Hall
Ice Cream Social for Students
Townsend Center Symposium: "The Future of Scholarly Communication:
Audiences and Constituencies." Moderated by Randolph Starn and Christina
FRIDAY, APRIL 24
Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate Forum: "Higher Education in the 21st Century"
Moderated by Academic Senate Chair and UC Berkeley Professor William
Oldham with Chancellor Berdahl, UC President Richard Atkinson, UC President
Emeritus Clark Kerr, current Stanford President Gerhard Casper, and Stanford
President Emeritus Donald Kennedy
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