University Updates

by Gregory J. Butera

$221.7 million in Gifts: Greatest Fundraising Year Ever for UC Berkeley

Fundraising efforts during the 1998-99 fiscal year ending June 30, 1999, brought in a record $221.7 million and a record 71,000 contributions from alumni and friends. This brings Berkeley close to the $1.1 billion goal set in the Campaign for the New Century, a capital drive designed to help the campus continue to attract, support and retain the best faculty and students. Since it began in 1993, the campaign has raised slightly more than one billion dollars.

Priorities for the remaining year and a half of the campaign include infrastructure needs in chemistry, physics, the neurosciences and bioengineering, as well as funds for the University Library collections, the new East Asian Library and Studies Center, and the new Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library. The campaign to date has created 23 distinguished professorships, 50 faculty chairs, 120 graduate fellowships and 247 undergraduate scholarships.

Health Care Research Center Established at Berkeley

A new research center studying health care markets and consumer welfare was established in July at the School of Public Health, funded by $2 million from the settlement of a 1970s antitrust case brought by the state against Levi Strauss and Company.

The Nicholas C. Petris Center on Health Care Markets and Consumer Welfare honors former California State Senator Nicholas Petris, noted for his leadership in developing policies addressing California's health care issues. The center will focus on consumer protection, affordability and access to health care--especially by low- and moderate-income consumers--and the role of information in consumer choice. It also will assess concentration, regulation and competition in the health care sector.

Women's Lacrosse Goes Varsity

This spring, women's lacrosse became the 27th varsity sport at Berkeley, giving women's athletics 14 intercollegiate sports--one more than the men. While women still have fewer participants and receive a smaller portion of the athletics budget, the elevation of lacrosse from a club sport to varsity status is another example of the campus' commitment to offer equitable athletic opportunity for men and women, as required by Title IX, the 1972 federal law on gender equity in education.

Women's lacrosse is one of the nation's fastest growing intercollegiate sports. Coach Jill Malko has for the past three years led the club team to a 30-4 record, and now has the full support and privileges afforded to a varsity level sport.

Bears Crew Win National Championship

In their first national championship since 1976, the Cal men's varsity eight set a new course record of 5:23.60 in the Varsity Challenge Cup, the Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships held May 29 on the Cooper River in Camden, NJ. The undefeated Bears came in 2.7 seconds faster than the previously undefeated No. 2 Princeton Tigers and successfully defended their number one ranking, held since the first regular season U.S. Rowing Coaches Poll. It was Coach Steve Gladstone's seventh IRA title in his coaching career.

The junior varsity squad had a similar victory, with an undefeated season and a record setting JV time of 5:37.90 for the course. The freshman squad finished in second place behind Brown University.

In July, the team travelled to England to compete in the Ladies' Plate event of the Henley Royal Regatta, advancing to the final round but losing to the Cambridge University/Queen's Tower composite crew by two lengths--the only mark on a perfect season.

Haas Pavilion to Open

Cal's basketball team will finally be back on campus this fall, as the finishing touches on the new Haas Pavilion are complete. The $48 million reconstruction of Harmon Gym has undergone renovations which more than double the seating capacity from 6,000 to 12,100, qualifying it as a site for NCAA basketball tournaments.

The building's 250,000 square feet, superimposed on about a third of the original 1931 structure, also will include classrooms, offices for coaches and staff members, locker rooms and training areas. A grand opening celebration will take place on September 17.

News for Students at Berkeley

For the past two years, fees at UC Berkeley and throughout the UC system have gone down. However, the huge increase in housing costs has increased student costs for one year at UC Berkeley--including fees, housing, books, transportation and personal expenses--to $15,044 for California residents.

Transfer students will also find more support available for them in the Chavez Student Center. A new transfer student center will provide advising, tutors and workshops for Cal's estimated 4,000 transfer students, who today represent nearly one in five undergraduate students.