When Cal parent Pam Carroll started talking to another mother in line at a campus orientation event years ago, daughter Nora Carroll, then a new student, was embarrassed at first. But after the parents started chatting, Nora, who graduated in 2013, and the other student began a lasting connection.
“There go our moms, said the 18-year-olds,” says Pam with a laugh. “Now they are inseparable, this friend will be in Nora’s wedding party in May, and they live near each other in Brooklyn.”
For Pam and Bill Carroll and their daughters, Berkeley is about more than top-notch academics. Berkeley’s vibrant campus culture is rooted in its eclectic student population, and the Carroll family feels strongly about the benefit of meeting people from different backgrounds. Nora came to Berkeley after hearing great things about it from her sister, Emma, who graduated in 2012. For her first two years, Emma lived with a student from Bahrain, and for her third year, she lived in International House. There, she developed friendships with students from Spain and Ireland — enduring connections that her led to travel and gain insight into other cultures.
Emma and Nora have taken different paths in life since graduating from Cal — Emma’s degree is in social welfare, while Nora’s is in business, but for both daughters, Berkeley was an invigorating and life-shaping experience.
Investing in the value of a Berkeley education
Bill and Pam both work in healthcare — Bill is a doctor, and Pam is a nurse who has managed a hospice in Santa Rosa for fifteen years. For them, education has intrinsic value, but the breadth of the Berkeley experience, both academically and socially, makes it stand out. Comparing Berkeley to private schools, Bill, whose degrees are also from public institutions, says: “Berkeley was really designed for people from all backgrounds.”
Through their daughters, Bill and Pam Carroll built a connection with Berkeley that has lasted many years. While their daughters were students, they became members of Berkeley Loyal, contributing annually to the Cal Parents Fund. They continue to give as parents of Cal alumnae because they want to enable other young people to step on to the Berkeley campus and then out into the world. Their commitment helps prepare the next generation of Berkeley graduates to pursue their dreams and build friendships that last a lifetime. The Carroll family continues to spend time on campus, coming together for football games and concerts at the Greek Theater.
“We believe in public education, and we give to the Cal Parents Fund to ensure that others have access to it,” says Bill. He and Pam take pride and pleasure in providing resources for the next generation of Berkeley explorers and innovators.
Berkeley Loyal members provide critical, ongoing support that helps transform students’ lives and shapes our world for the better. When you make gifts in each of the three most recent fiscal years, you achieve the distinction of Berkeley Loyal. You are recognized for the total number of years in which you’ve made gifts to Cal. Learn more at loyal.berkeley.edu.