UC Berkeley News
Press Release

UC Berkeley Press Release

Audience views Photo Booth mural After the campaign kickoff ceremony Friday, members of the audience search for themselves and their friends in the Photo Booth mural on Dwinelle Plaza. (Steve McConnell / NewsCenter photos)

UC Berkeley launches major multi-year campaign to raise $3 billion
$1.3 billion already has been raised

– The University of California, Berkeley, today (Friday, Sept. 19) announced a landmark fundraising campaign to raise $3 billion to secure for future generations its status as the nation's preeminent public teaching and research university.

The Campaign for Berkeley will raise private support to attract and retain the world's most talented and accomplished faculty, expand opportunities for exceptional students, support research collaborations to address global challenges, and strengthen the campus's core mission to serve the greater good.

The Campaign for Berkeley websiteNearly $1.3 billion of the $3 billion already has been raised in gifts and pledges since the "quiet phase" of The Campaign for Berkeley began on July 1, 2005. The campaign will end on June 30, 2013.

Campus officials also announced the conclusion of a record-breaking fundraising year, with $409.3 million contributed by the end of June. This includes UC Berkeley's biggest gift ever — $113 million from the Hewlett Foundation. The challenge grant announced last September ultimately will result in $220 million in new endowments and provide 100 faculty chairs.

"The Campaign for Berkeley calls upon every member of the Cal family to stand together to renew and extend UC Berkeley's academic preeminence and global leadership," said Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau. "Grand aspirations, rooted in a frontier past, built this university 140 years ago; grand actions today will secure our legacy of access and excellence in the future."

Chancellor examines photos
During the kickoff ceremony, Chancellor Birgeneau examines some of the hundreds of Photo Booth portraits.
The ambitious campaign, approved by the UC Board of Regents on Thursday (Sept. 18), invites the campus's alumni, parents and friends to raise more than twice the $1.44 billion received during UC Berkeley's last major fundraising effort from 1993 to 2000 — at the time, the most ever contributed to a public university. The campaign will involve all of the campus's 14 schools and colleges and numerous departments.

The substantial funds raised will help to close the funding gap between UC Berkeley and its elite private peers, which have grown large endowments, and use them, in part, to compete for the nation's top students and professors. While UC Berkeley's endowment was $2.9 billion in 2007, for example, Harvard University's that year was $34.9 billion.

The campus's faculty and students will benefit most from the campaign, which will provide new endowment funding for faculty chairs, fellowships and scholarships and increased funding for research, instruction and facilities.

About one-half of the $3 billion raised in The Campaign for Berkeley will help build the campus's endowment for students and faculty. This includes $300 million for undergraduate scholarships, $340 million for graduate fellowships, $390 million for faculty support and $450 million for innovative research. In addition, 20 percent of the funds will go toward building or improving facilities on campus.

Increased scholarship support will make the difference for prospective and currently enrolled UC Berkeley students — particularly those from middle- and lower-income families — for whom the campus represents access and excellence. UC Berkeley currently educates more low-income students than all of the Ivy League schools combined.

Prospective UC Berkeley students are being lured by attractive scholarship support from wealthy private universities. Some of these schools now draw on their hefty endowments to offer middle-class families generous scholarship plans.

Private support has helped make attending UC Berkeley possible for undergraduate Carissa Bussard, who is a Regents' and a Chancellor's Scholar supported by the Joan and Peter Avenali Chancellor's Scholarship, part of the campus's endowment.

"This award truly made my dreams come true," said Bussard, who first fell in love with the campus on a sixth-grade field trip from her hometown in Yreka, Calif. "I am able to attend the greatest public university in the nation among amazing faculty and a diverse student body."

Graduate students also exemplify UC Berkeley's academic excellence. The campus is a national leader in producing Ph.D.s annually, tops all other universities in the number of National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellows and has 18 Nobel laureates and 28 National Medal of Science recipients among its alumni.

For Pietro Calogero, a doctoral student in the College of Environmental Design, a fellowship supported by a gift bequest from the late William T. and Helen S. Halstead has been invaluable.

"Returning to a degree program as an older practicing professional with a family with two children represents substantial lost wages," said Calogero, who also earned his undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley. His fellowship has allowed him to research issues related to the growth of Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan.

Nobel laureate Yuan T. Lee, professor emeritus of chemistry, once described the synergistic effect that draws faculty and students to UC Berkeley: "I came to Berkeley as a graduate student to work with the world's greatest faculty. I came back to Berkeley as a professor to work with the world's greatest graduate students."

UC President Mark G. Yudof said the campaign "is an investment in the quality and public impact of one of the leading centers of higher learning in the world. The state of California provides essential support for the core academic enterprise of the University of California, and we greatly value that support. But as the funding challenges facing higher education multiply, the generous support of alumni, parents, and friends becomes all the more important in ensuring the vibrancy of our institutions. This far-sighted campaign will make a vital contribution by investing in the distinguished faculty and exceptional students of UC Berkeley."

Oski at launch ceremony
Flanked by the Cal dance team and a Photo Booth banner, Oski helps launch the Campaign for Berkeley.
In announcing the Hewlett Challenge in 2007, Walter Hewlett, chairman of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, framed support for UC Berkeley within a larger context.

"This university is truly the crown jewel of public higher education — not just in California — but in the country," he said. "…UC Berkeley is a special case in that we are not only supporting great work, we are supporting an important social concept — the importance of public education and universal access for our best and brightest students, irrespective of their ability to pay."

 The campaign was announced today at a noon kick-off event on UC Berkeley's Dwinelle Plaza, where the chancellor unveiled a 72-foot-long art installation that features more than 400 black-and-white portraits of UC Berkeley's diverse community of students, staff, faculty and alumni. More than 100 of the pictures contain a message of thanks written about the campus by the person who was photographed.

"The mantra of this campaign is 'Thanks to Berkeley …'" said Birgeneau. "The theme of gratitude is the foundation of our efforts. We invite the Cal community around the world to reaffirm its commitment to the campus by expressing pride and gratitude for all that UC Berkeley does to create opportunity, transform lives and make a better world."