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Berkeley ranked #1 by U.S. News yet again

UC Berkeley is number one in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings of public national universities, claiming the top position for the 17th straight year. Among undergraduate programs ranked by peer academics, Berkeley remained second (tied with MIT) to the University of Pennsylvania in Business, and remained third in Engineering.

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Our newest Bears

As we focus on the excellence of undergraduate education at Berkeley, a whole new population of undergrads has turned their attention to us this month, and their backgrounds are as varied as their needs: our youngest transfer student is 15 and the eldest is 75; 69% of incoming freshman come to us from public high schools; and 80 new students have prior military experience. You can learn more about our newest Bears in this infographic, just one of many special back-to-school features on the NewsCenter this month.

Haas Pavilion gets $10-million renovation

The venerable Walter A. Haas Jr. Pavilion will soon get major enhancements — thanks to a generous gift from the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, the arena will get a new center-hung scoreboard, upgraded sound and lighting systems, and modernized video production facilities. Construction is expected to begin in May 2015 and be completed in time for the fall 2015 intercollegiate athletics seasons.

This is just one of three major improvements scheduled or underway: with its 100th birthday just around the corner, the Campanile’s historic esplanade received a much-needed overhaul this summer; and check out photos from the $223-million Lower Sproul redevelopment project, which has progressed rapidly over the past few months.

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Registration for Reunion Weekend closes on Sep. 26!

Reunion Weekend at Homecoming (Oct. 10-12, 2014) is only three weeks away. Have you registered yet? We’ve packed in tons of opportunities to hang out with your friends and family, including several festive parties for alumni whose class years end in a 4 or 9, nearly 30 faculty seminars, the Bear Affair BBQ, tours and open houses of campus treasures, and the Cal vs. Washington football game. Registration closes Sept. 26. Questions? E-mail, or call 888.UNIV.CAL (888.864.8225).

How the Berkeley Wall of Fame spent its summer

What do you like to do during the summer? A hike through the woods? A rock concert? A good game or juicy book? To celebrate summer, the Berkeley Wall of Fame highlighted five alumni whose talents give us an excuse to sit back and have some fun.

  • Rue Mapp ’09 turned her childhood passion for the great outdoors into an organization that connects African Americans to nature.
  • "Dr. Frank" Portman '87 was a leading light of the Bay Area pop-punk scene in the 1980s and '90s. Today he's a leading young adult fiction writer.
  • Helen Wills Moody '26 was one of the greatest tennis players who ever lived, but her interests far surpassed the court.
  • Adrian Tomine '96 began publishing his Optic Nerve comics in high school. Today his austere, colorful illustrations are often seen in The New Yorker.
  • Vicki Iovine ’76 is a writer known for her candid Girlfriends’ Guide series. Her bestseller on divorce comes to Bravo TV in December.

Where T-shirt culture meets black protest tradition (slideshow)

Just about everyone owns a T-shirt, “even the Queen of England,” says Berkeley graduate student Kimberly McNair. A doctoral candidate in African diaspora studies with a focus on popular culture, McNair takes a scholarly interest in this ubiquitous and democratic article of clothing. View a slideshow about her dissertation research on T-shirts and the black protest tradition.

Hass wins Wallace Stevens Award

Berkeley English professor Robert Hass has received the Wallace Stevens Prize from the Academy of American Poets, adding to his honors that already include a Pulitzer Prize and serving as the U.S. Poet Laureate from 1995 to 1997. Established in 1994, the award carries a stipend of $100,000. Past winners of the prize have included John Ashbery, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Adrienne Rich.


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