- The University of California, Berkeley, will celebrate its
134th anniversary on Friday (March 15) with a keynote address
by Costa Rican President Miguel A. Rodríguez.
Rodríguez, who in 1966 received his PhD in economics from
UC Berkeley, will speak on trade and development in Latin
The Charter Day ceremony, which commemorates the founding
of the University of California in 1868, is scheduled for
noon in Zellerbach Auditorium. Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl
will deliver the welcome.
Among the alumni who will be honored during the program
are Rodríguez, who will be given the Elise and Walter A.
Haas International Award for his commitment to public service;
and Joanna Lennon, a 1970 and 1981 alumna and founder of
the East Bay Conservation Corps., who will receive the Peter
E. Haas Public Service Award for her work within the United
In addition, in a separate reception to be held Friday
evening, the California Alumni Association will honor U.
S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta as its 2001 Alumnus
of the Year. Mineta, a 1953 alumnus of UC Berkeley, is being
honored for his lifetime of service.
In his keynote address at the Charter Day ceremony, Rodríguez
is expected to comment on the proposed Free Trade Area of
the Americas, human rights in the hemisphere, and the struggle
Rodríguez's public career began almost the moment he graduated
from UC Berkeley, when he returned to Costa Rica and became
director of the Central Bank and minister of national planning
for his country. At the same time, he began his academic
career, holding an appointment as a professor of mathematical
economics and equilibrium theory at the University of Costa
During his four-year term as president, which ends in May,
Rodríguez has attracted foreign investment to Costa Rica,
controlled government spending and debt, and managed inflation
while safeguarding his nation's social advances and attacking
Rodríguez has shown an "outstanding ability to apply economic
knowledge to practical economic problems," said Maurice
Obstfeld, chair of UC Berkeley's Department of Economics
and Class of 1958 Professor of Economics.
For more information on Charter Day, visit www.urel.berkeley.edu/charterday.