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News Briefs

Fifty years of creating student leaders

As Cal Parents, you know UC Berkeley fosters a culture of public service. Did you know that our Public Service Center plays a leading role in preparing students to be leaders?

Each year, the center supports more than 5,000 students who work with hundreds of organizations and contribute more than 150,000 hours of public service. Participants are involved in mentoring elementary school students, grassroots organizing, service-learning trips and interning with government agencies and nonprofits.

“Many students come to Berkeley knowing they want to give back, but don’t know how. As the hub for public service on campus, we help them find their path,” says Sandra Bass, director of the center.

Through the Public Service Center, students lead programs, teach courses and experience the relationship between academic learning, personal development and social change. One participant, Amber Perkins Ellis, reflected, “The opportunities for growth are limitless. I was in a constant state of learning.”

This year, the center—formerly known as Cal Corps—is celebrating its 50th anniversary, honoring Berkeley’s legacy of public service and celebrating the students who are keeping that tradition alive. Its goal for the future is to provide every student with an opportunity to participate in these experiences.

In celebration of its anniversary, the center is collecting stories about incredible Berkeley students and alumni who have engaged in public service. Please share your public service story with us. Learn more about the Public Service Center at

On the Same Page: Hamilton soundtrack brings new students together

Hamilton­­—the hit Broadway show that blends hip-hop, pop, R &B and history to tell a diverse new generation the story of the country’s founding­­—is bringing together incoming students at UC Berkeley as part of the campus’s On the Same Page program.

In its 12th year, On the Same Page, which is hosted by the College of Letters and Science, typically asks new students to read the same book over the summer, one by an author who’s changed the way we view the world. That way, they all have something to talk about when they’re on campus and engaging in courses and at events specially designed to explore the book’s themes.

This summer, they listened to the soundtrack of Hamilton. Before fall semester even began, they heard a Sunday, Aug. 20 keynote speech by Jeremy McCarter, co-author of Hamilton: The Revolution, a behind-the-scenes book about the creation of the Tony award-winning show that’s become a cultural phenomenon.

Students attended the Haas Pavilion lecture as part of Golden Bear Orientation, a new eight-day welcome to campus for all incoming freshmen and transfer students that’s loaded with activities, tours, academic programming and training sessions.

McCarter, who co-wrote the book with Lin-Manuel Miranda, the composer, lyricist and star of the musical, took the audience to the play’s beginnings—how it was created, and how the show and its multicultural cast have changed the sound of Broadway. “Music that’s getting used ought to reflect what’s going on in society,” McCarter said in an interview with NPR last year. “Hip-hop is a uniquely potent, musical way of telling stories…hip-hop is doing what the great playwrights of the past used to do.”

Students have been encouraged to participate in other Hamilton events and activities on campus, including several Freshman Seminars; regular classes that feature ideas or topics related to the book; “Berkeley Revolution Mixtape,” a contest inspired by last year’s The Hamilton Mixtape album; and “Hack Hamilton,” where Berkeley fans of the musical can create short videos of their own parodies for a $1,000 cash prize.

Learn more about On the Same Page, and stay up to date on this year’s events at

Fall sports update

Ariel Nava/courtesy of Cal Athletics

The Justin Wilcox era for Cal football gets under way this fall with the Golden Bears hosting six games in California Memorial Stadium, including Southeastern Conference (SEC) foe Ole Miss on Sept. 16, USC on Sept. 23 and the homecoming contest against Arizona on Oct. 21.

Wilcox, who coached Cal linebackers from 2003-2005, has built his reputation on the defensive side of the ball, having served as a defensive coordinator for the past 11 years with some of the country’s top programs. Over his career, his teams have played in 14 bowl games and won five conference or division titles.

An experienced Cal defense is led by defensive lineman James Looney and features 12 players who have combined for 150 career starts, while many conversations about the offense begin with 2016 freshman All-American wide receiver Demetris Robertson, who broke Cal’s freshman records for receptions (50) and yards receiving (767) last season. Place kicker Matt Anderson begins his senior campaign within striking distance of the school’s all-time scoring record.

Cal’s men’s water polo team will be back in the pool this fall after winning its 14th NCAA championship last year and extending its own record for most titles by one school. Senior Luca Cupido, who earned All-American honors last year after being on the 2016 USA Olympic team, is returning to Cal, as are 2016 All-Americans Johnny Hooper, Odysseas Masmanidis and Conor Neumann.

The Golden Bear women’s soccer team is poised to get back into the NCAA tournament, something it has done each of the past 13 seasons. Senior goalkeeper Emily Boyd tied the school record with 11 shutouts last year. The Cal men’s soccer team is bringing back 17 letter winners and two All-Pac-12 performers for what should shape up as an exciting campaign at Edwards Stadium.

Cal volleyball is now under the direction of new head coach Matt McShane, who took over following the retirement of longtime coach Rich Feller. Other fall sports to watch at UC Berkeley are field hockey on Underhill Field and cross-country.

For more on Cal Athletics, visit or follow the Bears on Twitter @CalAthletics.

Save the date: Cal Day—April 21, 2018

Tens of thousands of people will gather on campus to attend hundreds of events during the spring semester to celebrate Cal Day, a festival for anything and everything Berkeley.

Cal Day was established in 1968 as a one-time open house that proved so popular it eventually evolved into an annual event. During Cal Day 2017, more than 40,000 people attended, and there were more than 400 booths tabled by student groups, campus departments and organizations and university partners.

The event is free and open to the public and is often listed as a must-attend San Francisco Bay Area event. It’s also a favorite of admitted and prospective students and parents. Attractions include faculty talks, campus tours, music and dance performances, and science and art activities for kids. Admission to all of Berkeley’s museums is free, including some facilities that are open to the public only on Cal Day. Public transportation is advised to get to campus, and on-campus transit will be available.

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