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A video holiday greeting from Chancellor Dirks

In this new video, Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks shares some of his final thoughts on the semester and where we, the Berkeley community, will be heading in 2015.

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Buy Berkeley this holiday season — and save

Looking for gift ideas this holiday season? Look no further: You can “buy from the Bear.” This year, more Berkeley alumni entrepreneurs than ever — at the leading edge of founding new companies, apps, and services — are generously offering holiday discounts to fellow alums and Cal parent readers of Berkeley Online. Check out this very special gift guide!

Berkeley faculty notch 2015 Breakthrough Prizes

UC Berkeley structural biologist Jennifer Doudna and two teams of cosmologists led by Nobel Laureates Saul Perlmutter and Adam Riess, a former UC Berkeley post-doc, were named 2015 Breakthrough Prize winners in life sciences and physics, respectively, at a star-studded gala in Silicon Valley last month.

BIG THANKS — Big Give raises $5.3m in 24 hours (video)

The numbers are inspiring: during the 24 hours of Big Give, $5,309,418 was raised from 7,336 gifts. That is the largest number of online gifts UC Berkeley has ever received in a single day! To all of you who participated in Big Give in any way, we offer you a hearty BIG THANKS. Check out our thank-you video, featuring students alongside prominent alumni and faculty. You made a big difference — one that will be felt for a long time to come!

Wendy Schmidt advocates for sea change

On a recent morning, Berkeley students taking the College of Letters and Science’s Big Ideas “Oceans” course came in from the rain, shook off their umbrellas, and gathered in Pimentel Hall to hear from Wendy Schmidt about more than just a few drops of water, but a sea change. “We cannot control the vast powers we observe in nature,” said the Graduate School of Journalism alumna, who is president of the Schmidt Family Foundation. “But we must seriously contemplate where we stand in relation to the planet that sustains our life. The earth and its oceans don’t need us — we need the ocean.”

From the Marines to Haas, with honors

At this past weekend’s Raiders-49ers football game, Haas MBA student Mike Christman took the field to be recognized as this year’s NFL-Tillman Military Scholar. Christman took time off from a job with the federal government to serve his country; the helicopter pilot left the Marines in August as a captain.

$45m in grants fund new cybersecurity centers

UC Berkeley, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, MIT, and Stanford recently announced the establishment of three major new academic initiatives focused on laying the foundations for effective, sustainable public policy to deal with growing cyber threats. Each school will take a slightly different tack: UC Berkeley’s Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity will be organized around assessing the possible range of future paths cybersecurity might take.

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