UC Berkeley News


Charter Day commemorates a universityís founding . . . and a chancellorís departure

| 08 April 2004


The first couple of the Berkeley campus, Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl and his wife, Peg, will be bade farewell at the Charter Day ceremony in Zellerbach Hall on April 15. The chancellor officially steps down in June.

Noah Berger photo

The Berkeley campus is throwing itself a daylong 136th-birthday bash on Thursday, April 15, that includes a farewell tribute to outgoing Chancellor and Mrs. Robert M. Berdahl. The colorful yearly commemoration celebrates Charter Day, marking the 1868 signing of the official act that created the University of California.

This yearís festivities kick off at 11 a.m. in Dwinelle Plaza, with a tug-of-war, cake-eating contest, and other games organized by the UC Rally Committee. Reviving a tradition from years past, teams of students will vie for prizes and the coveted Charter Cup. Cupcakes and entertainment will be provided at noon.

Students, faculty, staff, and alumni are invited to join in the processional marches that open the 3 p.m. Charter Day Ceremony at Zellerbach Hall. Staff should gather in the Heller Lounge of the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union at 2:30 p.m., while faculty will meet in the student unionís main floor lobby at the same time.

The ceremony will offer the campus community an opportunity to say goodbye to Berdahl, who is stepping down June 30 after seven years of leadership. The chancellor will deliver the keynote address; other speakers include Academic Senate Chair Ron Gronsky; Margo Wesley, director of the Staff Ombuds office; and Julie Sinai, president of the Berkeley Alliance, a partnership representing the campus, the city of Berkeley, and the Berkeley public school district.

During the Zellerbach event, community activist Corinne S. Jan í76 will receive the Peter E. Haas Public Service Award. An Oakland resident, Jan has devoted her career to providing seniors and minority groups, especially Asian communities, with access to health care, education, and legal aid. A reception immediately follows the ceremony.

All Charter Day celebration activities are free and open to the campus community and public. Free tickets to the ceremony are available at the Cal Performances box office. For details, visit www.urel.berkeley.edu/charterday/.