UC Berkeley welcomes everyone to its annual Cal Day Open House on Saturday, April 13

by Patricia McBroom

Berkeley -- Beat poetry, touchable tarantulas, music, athletics and speeches by world leaders are among the events to take place at UC Berkeley's Cal Day, when the university opens its doors to the public. The all-day event takes place on Saturday, April 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nearly everything including parking and museum admissions is free.

For the first time, the university will hold its annual Charter Day celebration during open house, with banners and a full academic procession taking place at Dwinelle Plaza, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara will address the audience and Governor of Taiwan James C.Y. Soong will receive the Haas International Award.

The Charter Day ceremony, led by UC Berkeley Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien, is the centerpiece of a vast schedule of activities, with more than 70 departments, schools and museums ready to showcase special events.

For those who love dance and music, Zellerbach Playhouse is running five original dances back to back, created by the campus's Theater Arts Center and music department. The Spring Festival at International House offers music, dancing, food and crafts from many nations.

Nobel Laureate in Physics Charles Townes will explore the challenges of a scientific career in a talk at 2 p.m. in Wheeler Auditorium. Lawrence Ferlinghetti will read his poetry in Dwinelle Hall 155, at 2 p.m., culminating a two-day Bancroft Library conference on the Beats in San Francisco that starts Friday.

Visitors can meet 25 top authors of children's books at the campus's Sixth Annual Celebration of

Children's Literature, and see a day-long pow-wow celebrating Native American song and dance on the lawn near the West Gate.

Prospective UC Berkeley students can visit schools throughout the campus providing information on undergraduate programs.

Last year, UC Berkeley's Cal Day drew more than 20,000 people, whose only frustration was they couldn't fit everything in. Motorized cable cars will ferry visitors around and free shuttles will carry them from the central campus to nearby attractions, such as the Lawrence Hall of Science where there is a giant Lego exhibit, and the Botanical Garden.

Here are some of the day's highlights:

* Sports -- From 9 to 11 a.m. watch Cal's football team hold an open practice under the direction of new head coach, Steve Mariucci. Meet Mariucci and the players on the football field at 11 a.m., or listen to the athletes reading stories at 2 p.m. to children of all ages at the Sixth Annual Celebration of Children's Literature, in the Pauley Ballroom. Watch a huge track meet all day at Edwards Track Stadium.

* Children's Events -- Kids can get their fingerprints done by the campus police, see the fully assembled Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton at the Paleontology Museum, handle a tarantula and other good, bad and ugly insects at the Essig Museum of Entomology, or take a look at what Cal students are doing with concrete canoes, solar cars, human-powered vehicles and a supermileage car outside the Bechtel Engineering Center.

* Entertainment -- The director of Berkeley's Shakespeare program hosts "Shakespeare in Performance: UCB and the Restored Globe Theatre" with video clips, slides, and live performances of scenes by students from "Much Ado About Nothing" in Wheeler Auditorium at 3 p.m. All afternoon and into the evening, lovers of the world's cultures can enjoy the arts, crafts and cuisines of many peoples at International House. Admission is $3 for adults, $1 for students.

* Tours -- Student guides will lead behind-the-scenes campus tours throughout the day. Other special tours will take visitors through a campus residence hall, the Botanical Garden, Strawberry Creek and through the campus's world-famous libraries.

* Prominent Lectures -- Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert NcNamara will address "Global security in the 21st century," at 2 p.m. in 2050 Valley Life Sciences Building. Among the dozens of faculty lectures on everything from quakes to ticks, Professor John Landis will discuss "Rebuilding the California dream," also at 2 p.m. in Wurster Hall.

* Special Events -- In a day-long celebration of children's literature, visitors can meet 25 authors, including Caldecott Medalist Peggy Rathmann, listen to stories and poetry, get an author to sign a book or do ceramics. A two-day Bancroft Library conference, titled "Ferlinghetti, City Lights and the Beats in San Francisco: from the Margins to the Mainstream." begins at 9 a.m., in the Morrison Reading Room on Friday, April 12, and continues on Saturday with a reading by Ferlinghetti in 155 Dwinelle Hall at 2 p.m.

Hundreds of other events and programs will be offered across the campus. Visitors can pick up a

schedule of events at information centers located at six entrances to the campus, including Sproul Plaza and Sather Gate. Disabled visitors may also arrange for services at the information centers.

To reach the campus take Interstate 80 to Berkeley and exit at University Avenue, which will bring you directly to the west entrance to the campus. BART's Berkeley Station is within two short blocks of the university. For more information, contact Visitors' Services at 642-5215.

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