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Chancellor Dirks

Campus community meets new Chancellor

Upon winning formal confirmation from the UC Board of Regents on Tuesday as UC Berkeley’s 10th chancellor, Nicholas Dirks visited campus and spoke to the campus community from the steps of Doe Library.

Shortly before the Regents approved his appointment, Dirks talked in depth about his background, as well as the values, principles and priorities that will inform his leadership of UC Berkeley. (Video is available in its entirety and in segments; full transcript also available.)

UC Berkeley completes Hewlett Challenge

In the last five years, UC Berkeley has created 100 new endowed faculty chairs as part of an unprecedented challenge begun in 2007 when it received $113 million, the largest private gift in its history, from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau announced that the campus has exceeded its own expectations in completing the Hewlett Challenge more than two years ahead of schedule. The dollar-for-dollar challenge inspired a sweeping number of donors to give, resulting in more than $220 million in endowments for faculty chairholders and their departments and students.

End of an era: Tedford relieved of duties as Bears coach

Jeff Tedford, who has overseen the Golden Bears football program for the past 11 seasons, has been relieved of his duties as head football coach at the University of California, Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour announced last week.

Gift Giving Ideas

Gift-giving ideas from alumni-founded companies

Looking for gift ideas this holiday season? Look no further. UC Berkeley alumni entrepreneurs — at the leading edge of founding new companies, apps, and services — are generously offering exclusive discounts to fellow alums and Cal parent readers of Berkeley Online.

Check out these deals:

  •, founded by Eileen Gittins '80 — Surprise someone with a custom Blurb photo book, a family cookbook, a Facebook photo book, or a 2013 Weekly Planner from this fast-growing Cal startup. Promo code UCBLURB for 25 percent off through Dec. 17, 2012, valid for printed books only, and applied to your product total. (Maximum one-time discount is USD $150 off product total, and cannot be combined with volume discounts, other promotional codes, gift cards, or used for adjustments on previous orders.)
  • BTTR Ventures, founded by Nikhil Arora ’09 and Alex Velez ’09 — Starting with a $5,000 social innovation grant from Chancellor Birgeneau and a great sustainability idea born at UC Berkeley, Back to the Roots exploded and now offers mushroom kits, so you can grow your own at home. The team just successfully crowd-funded a second product — a home aquaponics kit to grow your own produce sustainably at home. Promo code: Berkeley10 for 10 percent off. Expires Dec. 23, 2012.
  • PACT Apparel, founded by Jeff Denby M.B.A. ’08 and Jason Kibbey ’01, M.B.A. '08 — Super soft organic cotton underwear, socks, and tees, and invests in projects that create independence. Promo code: UCBPACT30 for 30 percent off, excluding most recent Heritage Collection.
  • Ink, founded by Bryan Kennedy ’04 — Customize and mail unique greeting cards for every occasion from your iPhone, iPad or Android without a trip to the store (or even a stamp!). Promo code: CALBEARS12 for two free Ink cards. (Your card will arrive at its destination in 3-5 days, 2 weeks outside the US, UK, and Canada). Ink is free to download, and cards cost $1.99 including postage. Go Bears!
  • OCHO Candy, founded by Scott Kucirek '88, M.B.A. '99 — “Better for you, better tasting organic alternatives to traditional candy bars,” OCHO candy is hand crafted and contains only the finest organic ingredients. Promo code: GoBears for 20 percent discount, expires Dec. 31, 2012.
  • Chictopia, founded by Helen Zhu '00 and Corinne Chan '97 — Chictopia is a resource curated by trendsetters and fashion forward boutiques to help you refine your personal style. Promo code: CHICCAL for 200 Chic Points for your account, which can be redeemed for free rewards!
  • Modify Watches, founded by Aaron Schwartz M.B.A. ’10 — Interchangeable, fun, and water-resistant timepieces; you can mix-and-match our faces and straps to create a perfect look for everyone. With classic designs, as well as fun ones of Cal and SF Giants players, as well as a price point under $50. Promo code: ModifyHaas for a 20 percent discount, expires Dec. 31, 2012.
  • Indiegogo, founded by Danae Ringelmann MBA '08 — Do you have your own project you would like to launch? Join the largest global crowd-funding platform, empowering anyone, anywhere, at any time, to raise funds for any idea. Indiegogo is democratizing the way people raise funds for any project - creative, entrepreneurial or cause-related. Promo code 1127brkly12 for 25 percent off platform fees, if you start a campaign by Dec. 10, 2012.

Do you have an alumni-founded company you want to tell us about? Drop us a line at

UC Berkeley astronomer Marcy profiled in NY Times

Astronomy professor and renowned planet hunter Geoff Marcy was asked by The New York Times recently about his interests – what he's reading, listening to, watching, and purchasing.

Engineering and physics student named a 2013 Rhodes Scholar

Daniel A. Price, a senior on track to graduate with two B.S. degrees, one in bioengineering and the other in electrical engineering and computer sciences, has been named a 2013 Rhodes Scholar. He is also a major in physics, and was one of 32 people chosen by the Rhodes Trust for this prestigious honor

Cal’s Tierra Rogers never played because of heart condition, now helping with clinical trial

Cal’s Tierra Rogers had her basketball career cut short by a heart condition. Her journey is profiled in a story by the Associated Press, which appeared nationally, including in the Washington Post.

Satellite launches with “last pictures” created by UC Berkeley alumnus

A satellite that launched from Kazakhstan on Nov. 20, EchoStar XVI, contained a time capsule of sorts — a small silicon disc of photographs intended to orbit the earth for literally billions of year. The “last pictures” were created by a UC Berkeley alumnus, artist and geographer Trevor Paglen, who lives and works in New York.



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