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Maxine Hong Kingston Image

Hong Kingston wins National Medal of Arts

Author and longtime Berkeley lecturer Maxine Hong Kingston ’62, M.Ed. ’65 was awarded the 2013 National Medal of Arts at a recent White House ceremony. Best known for her books The Woman Warrior and China Men, Kingston’s “novels and non-fiction have examined how the past influences our present, and her voice has strengthened our understanding of Asian American identity, helping shape our national conversation about culture, gender, and race,” according to a White House statement.

2014 Homecoming Weekend Image

Calling all alums: Come back to Berkeley for Homecoming!

Have you registered yet for Reunion Weekend at Homecoming (October 10–12)? With only seven weeks to go, don’t miss this chance to hang out with your friends and family and enjoy the best of Berkeley, including these annual favorites:

  • Friday, October 10: Reunion Revelry. A festive party for alumni whose class years end in a 4 or 9. Alumni House, 7-9:30 p.m.
  • Friday–Sunday, October 10–12: Private gatherings for the Classes of 1944, 1954, 1964, 1984, and 1989.
  • Friday–Sunday, October 10–12: Faculty Seminars. 30+ on a wide range of relevant topics.
  • Saturday, October 11: Game Day: The Bear Affair BBQ, a traditional tailgate, followed by the Cal vs. Washington Homecoming game. Game tickets sold separately at using the codes REUNION1954 (Class of 1954), REUNION1964 (Class of 1964), or CALALUMNI for all other classes.

Registration closes September 26. Questions? E-mail, or call 888.UNIV.CAL (888.864.8225).

Berkeley fourth in ARWU global rankings

Berkeley ranked fourth in the world in the 2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), released August 15. The rankings, published by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, focus on quality of faculty and research. Berkeley placed with Harvard, Stanford, and MIT among the world’s top four universities — and is again the globe’s top-ranked public university. Berkeley is followed by UCLA (10th), UC San Diego (12th), and Washington (13th), among public institutions in the United States.

Festive 99th for Charles Townes (video)

UC Berkeley Nobelist Charles H. Townes drew a crowd of more than 500 admirers to Faculty Glade as the campus wished him a happy 99th birthday — including a serenade from the Straw Hat Band, as shown in this video. Accompanied by his wife, Frances, 98, and his three daughters, the laser inventor was presented with the Chancellor’s Citation by Vice Chancellor and Provost Claude Steele.

Alum is NBA’s first female director (video)

Late last month Michele Roberts J.D. ’80 became the first woman to head a major North American sports union. “A tiny bit of me wishes people wouldn’t make a big deal of it,” said Roberts in this video interview with ESPN, “but I also recognize that we need to make sure other young women don’t feel paralyzed, don’t limit themselves because of gender.”

Science of Happiness attracts tens of thousands

More than 75,000 women and men worldwide have enrolled in The Science of Happiness, a first-of-its-kind Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) presented by the Greater Good Science Center that has been featured in the Huffington Post, Sacramento News and Review, and San Francisco Business Times. The bulk of enrollees belong to the Millennial Generation, although registrants range from teenagers to septuagenarians.


The Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology holds the largest collection of its kind west of the Mississippi. Yet, due in part to outmoded paper documentation of its collections, it is essentially unknown beyond a small circle of researchers and educators. In an effort to ramp up the digital documentation they have already begun, the museum is presenting the HackTheHearst hackathon September 10–21. It is an opportunity for teams to compete by digging into the collections data of the Hearst and working with it to develop a compelling application and/or user interface. There will be a kick-off event on Wednesday, September 10 from 4:30–9 p.m. at 102 Kroeber Hall.


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