Berkeley parents proudly make the case for support
By David Peterkofsky
Jennifer and Doug Claman maintain very busy schedules — she is an obstetrician and gynecologist, and he is an investor and broker working in industrial real estate. But giving back is also a priority for the couple from Manhattan Beach, California, and nowhere is that more apparent than at Berkeley, where they make time to play an active part in the Cal Parents community, as donors and as volunteers.
The proud parents of Andrea Claman, a fourth-year undergrad, Jennifer and Doug maintain a big-picture approach when it comes to supporting the university. “We give to Cal because of our personal commitment to higher education and because of Berkeley’s perpetual pursuit of academic excellence,” says Jennifer. “Where else can you find Nobel Laureate-only parking spaces?”
The Clamans have a family motto — “Don’t complain about things, change them” — and that ideal often informs their philanthropy. At Berkeley, they have made several gifts to the Haas School of Business, where Andrea has thrived in her business administration studies and enjoyed professional coaching and development. The couple cites Berkeley Haas’s “whole person” approach to business leadership development as being especially effective.
Additionally, they routinely support Jewish Studies and Jewish student organizations on campus, underscoring their belief in Berkeley’s commitment to inclusion and cultural diversity. Berkeley, they feel, has worked to ensure that everyone has the freedom to express their opinions — even if those opinions may be in the minority — without fear of prejudice or retaliation.
“This is a position about which we are most passionate,” says Jennifer. “We believe that committing to diversity and inclusion precludes ostracizing any marginalized group or organization, no matter how different your beliefs or philosophies. We will always support those agendas wherever they surface.”
The Clamans also donate their time to Berkeley by volunteering. The couple recently hosted a virtual welcome reception for new parents, and Jennifer has also served as a parent panelist for a program hosted by the Cal Alumni Student Association. Whether it’s through philanthropy or volunteer work, they note, the Cal Parents & Families office is happy to help parents identify a variety of ways that they can support their child’s Berkeley education.
“The university has so much to offer that anyone can find a way that reflects their personal interests, hobbies, and beliefs,” Doug says. “The folks that coordinate parent engagement are really great in helping to identify how you might direct your support once you share how you would like to make an impact.”
And as the Clamans firmly believe, it’s an investment worth making. “By giving, you not only have a direct positive impact on the education and experience of your child,” Jennifer says, “but you can help ensure the integrity of the Berkeley experience for the next generation of students.”
To find out more about the many ways you can support your student, visit Cal Parents & Families online at calparents.berkeley.edu.