UC Berkeley News


The distinguished roster of participants in the upcoming Inaugural and Cal Day symposia includes, from left to right, Julie Gerberding, Bruce Cain, Maria Mavroudi, Chris Edley, Christina Maslach, and Robert Full.

A really big weekend
In a three-day whirl, campus to hold open house, celebrate its founding, and inaugurate a new chancellor

| 06 April 2005

For more information about the weekend's events, see the Chancellor's Inauguration and Cal Day websites.
The Berkeley campus plans to take multi-tasking to new heights next week, when, on top of throwing an annual open house for 30,000-plus guests, it will celebrate both the founding of the University of California 137 years ago and the inauguration of Robert J. Birgeneau as its ninth chancellor.

Birthday cake figures predictably in the lineup of special inaugural and Charter Day events in store for Thursday, April 14 through Saturday, April 16 - with samples to be distributed by campus Nobelists, star athletes, and others of slightly more modest renown from the Sproul Hall steps at 11:30 a.m. on Friday. So does the formal Inaugural and Charter Day Ceremony, slated for 2 p.m. on Friday in Zellerbach Hall (tickets are required and are available at the box office while supplies last). And faculty and staff will get a chance to meet the chancellor, at a reception set for 4 to 6 p.m Thursday afternoon in the Chevron Auditorium at International House.

Not surprisingly, the campus is also planning academic happenings. As the late Clark Kerr, Berkeley's first chancellor, noted in his 1958 inaugural address as president of UC, "The quest for knowledge is not the monopoly of the universities, but they alone combine the task of research with the basic training of the researchers, and provide the environment (if not the salary) that attracts outstanding men."

It is these two aspects of the campus's mission - research and teaching - that Chancellor Birgeneau has chosen to highlight for his inauguration, under the heading "Frontiers of Knowledge, Frontiers of Education."

With reference to the former, he told the Berkeleyan, "It's at places like Berkeley where you have the talent and intellectual depth you need to work at the absolute frontier." While the lion's share of academic writing covers topics already exhaustively explored, he said, faculty at institutions like Berkeley advance their fields of knowledge by exploring questions touched upon in just a handful of scholarly articles - "enough to know that a problem is interesting, but you get to make the early discoveries yourself."

A pair of symposia on Thursday and Friday, and five more sessions folded into Saturday's Cal Day events, will speak to these contributions. Also on Cal Day, at 2 p.m. in 145 Dwinelle, Chancellor Birgeneau will deliver a "State of the Campus" address.

For a detailed schedule of all inaugural events, see