To Chancellor Tien, members of the regents, honored guests, proud alumni, distinguished faculty, honored staff, students, and to our catering public:
I am indeed honored to stand before you to bring greetings on behalf of the staff employees of the University of California, Berkeley.
It is with a great deal of pride that the staff of the University says "welcome or welcome back."
While you were away, we proudly prepared the campus for your return. We handled the business and paid the bills.
We maintained research specimens, collected data, and prepared your research papers for publication.
We took care of the appearance, repair, maintenance, safety, and security of your surroundings.
We prepared living spaces for your comfort.
Staff read more than 7,000 essays to make admissions decisions. Student staff moved 1.5 million books to safe quarters for your use.
And we kept in contact and maintained relations with those you identified as crucial to our mission and to our existence.
Along the way, and in the Berkeley tradition, staff employees brought distinction to Berkeley.
To mention just a few achievement highlights, the National Association of College and University Business Officers recognized the achievements of our disbursements staff with the awarding of its Innovative Management Achievement Award.
Our director of Internal Audit, Stephanie Siri, was elected president of the International Association of College and University Auditors, and is only the second woman to head that organization in its 36-year history.
Many others were sought for local, national, and international leadership roles because of the Berkeley tradition of having excellent people, a distinction brought by the accomplishments of our faculty and excellence of our students.
Along the way, staff employees volunteered time in staff organizations and in employee organizations to assist us, or challenge us, to be the best that we can be as an employer.
All of this has been accomplished in the most challenging of times, and with thin ranks; however, we can't think of a better place to be or better company to keep in rising to the challenges ahead.