Welcome to the first issue of Berkeley Scholarship Stories, a newsletter about Cal’s talented, inspirational scholarship recipients and the generous donors who make their Berkeley experiences possible. Your support changes students’ lives, raises up entire families, and enables the campus to continue this proud tradition. Thank you.
Aura Barrera just completed her first year at Berkeley, and already the intended computer science major has worked with a faculty mentor, helped plan an overnight outreach program for high school students, and met with junior and senior peers to plan her course schedule. Aura’s experiences were all part of being one of the campus’ inaugural group of Fiat Lux Scholars.
Cal alumnus and longtime supporter Wilmer Fong, ‘49, reviewed a list of doctors and thought to himself: “This name is familiar. What a small world.” Wilmer served on a selection committee that awarded Jerry his scholarship. The two reconnected, developing a new relationship as patient and doctor.
José Luis Bedolla attended Berkeley as an undocumented student, became an inventor who holds patents, founded a business, and — with his wife, Berkeley professor and alumna Lisa Garcia Bedolla — recently endowed a scholarship for undocumented students at UC Berkeley. As Professor Garcia Bedolla observed, “These students have managed to flourish in the most difficult of circumstances. Rather than deporting them, we should be appreciating their contributions.”
As Julián Ponce, class of 2017, reflected, “The Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholarship has been essential in my growth and development as a low-income, first-generation Latino scholar at the number one public university. This program has allowed me to grow into an effective leader who has had a positive impact on the larger student body and my community in the Central Valley.”
By providing students with the life-changing gift of education, your support ensures that Berkeley’s tradition of being a beacon of access to academic excellence continues. Thanks to donors like you, $41.9 million in privately funded undergraduate scholarships were offered in 2015–16, supporting 6,000 recipients. Giving opportunities include scholarships based on merit, diversity, and access.