Faculty Club celebrates a century

06 March 2002 |

Berkeley’s Faculty Club, nestled along meandering Strawberry Creek, will celebrate its centennial with a formal colloquium and grand party beginning at 4:15 p.m., Friday, March 15 in the Faculty Club Library.

The celebration will consist of an academic colloquium, “The Idea of a Com-munity of Scholars,” chaired by Martin Trow, professor emeritus of public policy, and a faculty panel consisting of Ann Kilmer, former chair of Near Eastern Studies; Walter Alvarez, professor of earth and planetary sciences; and Richard Mul-ler, professor of physics.

The centennial will focus on the club’s role in promoting the notion that a great university is more than a collection of discrete scholarly modules and that it should function as a community. Faculty Club President Bruce Bolt, professor emeritus of earth and planetary sciences, and the club’s board of directors invite faculty and their families to this evening gala.

The club was founded 100 years ago, when a group of faculty members donated funds to build a new campus dining club. Its purpose was to foster a sense of collegiality among faculty by providing a venue for them to socialize outside of their departments.

Although the university contributed the site alongside Strawberry Creek, the dining club was financed entirely by its members and remains a private organization today.

In its infancy, the Faculty Club was a haven for the almost completely male faculty. Phoebe Apperson Hearst, a woman of wide philanthropic interests, was the only female admitted to the building for a long time. She contributed the first cook stove to the club’s kitchen. In 1903, UC President Benjamin Wheeler referred to it as “a fine great range.”

The club did not remain exclusively male for long, however. For the past 30 years, women have been full members. Several have served on the board of directors, and one woman has been club president. Senior staff also may hold membership.

Following the celebratory colloquium, members and guests with reservations will gather at 6 p.m. in the club’s Great Hall to begin an evening of feasting, dancing and entertainment in a festive setting: the newly renovated public spaces of the historic building.

The cost per person is $60. Reservations may be made by mail or by dropping off an envelope with a $25 nonrefundable deposit per person at the club. No telephone or e-mail reservations will be accepted.


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