By Joel Bahr
Despite playing host to 175,000 visitors per year, UC Berkeley has never had a permanent location to welcome guests and prospective students to campus. That changed on Sept. 1 with the opening of the Koret Visitor Center at California Memorial Stadium.
Featuring themed alcoves, interactive video boards, timelines chronicling the illustrious history of the university and an interactive world map that showcases Berkeley’s global impact, the Koret Visitor Center is a place that champions the accomplishments of the university while also welcoming in future generations of Berkeley students and guests.
“It’s a place where guests and visitors from around the world will come to hear the Berkeley story,” says La Dawn Duvall, the campus’s executive director of visitor and parent services.
– La Dawn Duvall, Executive Director, Visitor and Parent Services
More than a static meeting place, the Koret Visitor Center is dynamic and experiential. Guests are able to see some of the cutting-edge research being done by Berkeley’s alumni and faculty. Patrons of the center will also be able to select from some of Berkeley’s most distinguished alumni and professors—including Michael Pollan, Randy Schekman, Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Jennifer Dounda—and hear them talk about their unique experiences at one of the leading universities in the world. An extension of a campuswide renaissance, the center also serves as an anchor of the campus’s push to activate Memorial Stadium as a multi-use space that will serve as an academic hub as well as the home of the Golden Bears on Saturdays in the fall.
While the Visitor Center will certainly be a highlight for admitted and prospective students, the facility also serves current faculty and students, alumni and the general public.
“Berkeley is a public institution,” says Duvall. “It belongs to the state of California and is part of the fabric of our community. We want the public to engage with it.”