Cronkite lectures

Walter Cronkite came to campus Nov. 12 to present the first Herb Caen/San Francisco Chronicle Lecture. The Zellerbach Hall event sold out in two days.

Interviewed by new journalism dean Orville Schell, Cronkite

commented on how much TV has changed and damaged the nature and credibility of journalism.

The new lecture series will provide a national forum on the state of communicating in America and changing currents in media, culture, and politics.

Funded by the Chronicle Publishing Company, The Getty Foundation, and individuals, the series will be a continuing tribute to longtime Chronicle columnist Herb Caen.

Law School addition/renovation completed

The School of Law (Boalt Hall) unveiled results of a $16.7 million building and renovation project Oct. 26.

The project added 40 percent, or 50,000 usable square feet, to Boalt Hall and another 80,000 square feet were remodeled. A four-story addition was built on the north side of the school and Manville Hall, formerly a dormitory next to Boalt, was renamed Simon Hall and converted primarily into offices and meeting rooms.

Improvements include a quadrupling of computer facilities, new faculty offices, a library reading room twice its former size (see below), a new student commons and cafe, new classrooms, a center for visiting scholars, offices for student organizations, and Internet access in every office and classroom.

Many alumni and friends, led by a $2.2 million gift from alum William G. Simon, made the project possible.

A double anniversary for Paleontology Museum

Dug up or dropped off, bought, bartered or bequeathed, fossils have been piling up at the Museum of Paleontology ever since it was created by the state legislature in 1874. Its immense collection of fossils range from the Precambrian era more than a billion years ago to yesterday's roadkill, from one-celled sea creatures to whales and dinosaurs.

All of which is cause for celebration as the 125th anniversary of its collections approaches and the museum passes the 75th anniversary of its endowment by benefactress Annie Montague Alexander in 1921.

As part of a year long celebration, the museum presents a one-day course Feb. 22 on "Our Pleistocene Heritage" and a symposium May 9-10 on the history and future of the Museum of Paleontology. Tours of the collections can be made by appointment: (510) 642-4877.

A taste of the collections can be had on the World Wide Web ( Developed by graduate students, it has become an educational tool for K-12 schools wired into the Internet and fossil-lovers worldwide. The museum ranks among the top three paleontology collections in the country.

Berkeley Pledge celebrates year one

Last fall, Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien launched the Berkeley Pledge-a model partnership between UC Berkeley and Bay Area public school districts.

The Pledge is designed to expand Berkeley's outreach to K-12 schools and recruitment of high school students; to keep Berkeley affordable; to create an environment that will foster success for every Berkeley student; and to inspire students to pursue graduate studies and professional careers.

The program celebrated its first birthday at a press conference Sept. 30 at Washington School in Point Richmond. Washington is one of 25 schools in four local school districts selected to create an academically enriched pipeline to college. In a pilot project, UC Berkeley is already working with teachers and students at some of these schools to open doors of opportunity for disadvantaged youths.

In addition, two districts will benefit from the Role Model Program, which pairs a K-12 student with a Berkeley undergraduate-a "buddy" who will be a mentor and friend outside of class.

This past summer, the Berkeley Academy brought together 2,500 students involved in 25 different K-12 outreach programs.

At the same time, the Pledge established a statewide recruitment corps involving students, alumni, and parents to bring the finest students from throughout California to Berkeley. The Chancellor has committed $2 million over two years to Pledge activities.

The Berkeley Pledge was founded in the wake of the Board of Regents' decision to eliminate consideration of race, ethnicity, and gender in student admission decisions, a decision reaffirmed by California voters in the November election when they passed Proposition 209, a measure to end state affirmative action programs.

Searching for the next chancellor

A 17-member selection committee is working to recommend a successor to Chang-Lin Tien, who will step down as UC Berkeley chancellor in June, 1997. The committee is advisory to UC President Richard Atkinson, who chairs the group. Atkinson hopes to have a recommendation to the Board of Regents in March.

On Oct. 23, the committee met on campus with delegations representing faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community leaders to hear their views on the needs of the campus and the qualities to be sought in the next chancellor. The message they got was the need for a top-notch academic, a supporter of diversity, and someone as caring and dedicated as Chancellor Tien.

Committee members include regents Ward Connerly, Meredith Khachigian, and board chairman Tirso del Junco; Richard Russell (California Alumni Association president), faculty, and students.

Berkeley's own poet laureate launches "Lunch Poems"

Since his selection as U.S. poet laureate last year, Berkeley's professor of English Robert Hass has vastly increased the visibility of poetry in this country.

Now he's raising its visibility at Berkeley as host of a new monthly lunchtime poetry series featuring nationally known poets. "Lunch Poems" kicked off Sept. 5 with an unusual treat: 10 faculty and staff from a broad range of disciplines, including Chancellor Tien, reading their favorite poems.

Hass has been nominated for the National Book Award for his latest book, Sun Under Wood-Poems by Robert Hass.

Upcoming poets in the series include:

Feb. 6: Sekou Sundiata

Mar. 6: Linda McCarriston

April 10: Sharon Olds

May 1: student reading

All readings start at 12:10 in the library's Morrison Room, where tapes are available of previous readings.

For more information, contact Zack Rogow, (510) 642-0137; e-mail

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