What lives inside the Campanile? Who was Phoebe Apperson Hearst? How many Olympic medals have Cal Bears amassed over time? What is Cas9? Explore historic milestones, traditions, major discoveries, influential people who helped shaped our university, and more below. Come back as we add more stories throughout the year. 

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Mark Twain

Mark Twain finds a home at Berkeley

If Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, had lived today, his nonstop outpouring of observations on American life might fit neatly on a medium-size hard drive.

David Blackwell

David Blackwell: A trailblazing statistician

“He had this great talent for making things appear simple. … That is the ultimate best thing in mathematics, if you have an insight that something seemingly complicated is really simple, but simple after the fact.”

Photo of Jennifer Doudna

Life-changing discoveries happen here

Recruited from Yale University, structural biologist and biochemist Jennifer Doudna was attracted to Berkeley’s pioneering spirit and access to advanced research technology. The university seemed like a place where basic science could lead to big discoveries.  

Photo of Daily Cal

The Daily Cal: A monumental record of Berkeley’s past

September 4, 1900 — Juniors elect class officers; no contest for presidents

October 1, 1964 — Williams refuses demands; 700 sleep in Sproul Hall

September 12, 2017 — UC to receive $1M from state to support undocumented students 

Phoebe Hearst Plan University of California, John Galen Howard Collection, Environmental Design Archives, UC Berkeley

John Galen Howard: The artistry behind our beautiful campus

Doe Library. The Hearst Memorial Mining Building. The Hearst Greek Theatre. Benjamin Ide Wheeler Hall. The Campanile.

These are just a few stately campus landmarks built in the early 1900s under the leadership of John Galen Howard, an architect who, more than any other individual, shaped the face of the UC Berkeley campus. 

Photo of International House Berkeley

I-House: Once resisted, now revered

After the first International House opened in New York in 1924, the visionaries behind it — Harry Edmonds and John D. Rockefeller, Jr. — chose Berkeley for their second location. The Bay Area was the American point of entry from Asia and claimed the largest number of foreign students on the West Coast.