|Alumni, parents, families come
home to Cal October 15-18
By Alice Boatwright, University Relations
04 OCTOBER 00 | Alumnus Carr Bentel, of the class of 1925, remembers when President Benjamin Ide Wheeler used to ride around the campus on a horse. His classmate Reva Coon still recalls the way the smoke looked rising from the charred houses after the Berkeley fire of 1923.
They are just two of the many alumni who will join parents on the Berkeley campus to reminisce and celebrate when Berkeley holds its annual Homecoming, Reunion & Family Weekend, Oct. 13-15.
"We used to have separate events for the reunion classes and for Cal parents," says Amy Keala, homecoming director, "but two years ago, we combined them into one big Cal family party, and it has been very successful."
More than 3,000 people are expected to attend an event that is almost as popular for the opportunity to visit the classroom as it is for the chance to root for the Bears in Memorial Stadium.
The weekend offers a mix of activities: a spirit rally and football game - against the UCLA Bruins - followed by a post-game bash for everyone at the Campanile; a concert by the University Symphony Orchestra; museum open houses and campus tours; and a career expo and networking fair, as well as a wide variety of special events for parents and classes holding reunions.
Football, fun and nostalgia are the expected fare at a homecoming, but at Berkeley, one of the biggest draws is the faculty lectures offered throughout the weekend. This year more than 25 of the campus's world-renowned faculty will give lectures - from Orville Schell on the American media and Marian Diamond on the aging brain to Kenneth Jowitt on the end of communism and Alex Fillipenko on cosmic "antigravity."
A series of special activities gives parents a chance to spend time with their students and learn more about Berkeley. A reception for families and students is held on Friday evening. Also for families, on Saturday, will be a campus tour, lecture on the advantages of study abroad, and designated seating at the Chancellor's brunch and keynote address. On Sunday, parents can join their sons and daughters for a meal in the residence halls. Cal CubFest 2000 and a petting zoo are planned to entertain younger siblings and children of alumni.
A new feature this year will be the post-game bash, starting at about 3 p.m. Saturday at the Campanile. Reunion classes, schools, colleges and alumni groups will have a place to gather, and the campus is invited to enjoy live music, entertainment, food, beverages and more.
This first homecoming of the new century will be especially memorable because three members of the class of 1925 will hold their 75th reunion. Coon, of Dunsmuir, and Bentel, of San Francisco, will be joined by their classmate Rudolph Peterson of Piedmont, for the occasion. All in their mid-90s, they will enjoy brunch at the Campanile and be honored by Chancellor Berdahl.
At 96, Coon has been to many reunions over the years, but she keeps coming back. It's an opportunity to reminisce, she says, but even more, it's an opportunity to "maybe learn something about the university that I didn't know before."
Alumni from the classes of 1950 to 1995 will also hold reunions throughout the weekend, which is co-sponsored by the university and the California Alumni Association.
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