Dear Graduate Students,
With the semester zooming to an end, some of you are focused on graduation celebrations and life beyond, in a new job or postdoc appointment or well-deserved time off. Congratulations to you! Others of you are looking ahead to a summer of internships or intensive research or travel or home cooking! In any case, I hope this has been a successful semester for you.
Also at an end this semester was the Campaign for Berkeley — a fundraising campaign announced in 2008, just before The Great Recession hit. The campus has just concluded summing up the outcomes of our efforts.
One of the major goals of our fundraising was to increase the number of graduate fellowships — and that was a remarkable success! Before the campaign, endowed fellowships for graduate students numbered 655; that has nearly doubled to 1,203 multi-year fellowships. To read about what this means to a couple of current students, please see the article elsewhere in this edition.
The campaign also strengthened connections between stellar graduate students and stellar faculty. For example, the Hewlett Challenge (launched in 2007) and the Hellman Graduate Awards (launched this semester) leverage faculty ties and link faculty awards to financial support for graduate students.
In an era of declining state support for public education, this is very welcome indeed. It underpins Berkeley’s climb ever higher in competitive evaluations of quality of teaching, research, and international outlook. A recent Times Higher Education (London-based) ranking placed Berkeley first among U.S. public universities and eighth among the most elite private universities worldwide.
Graduate students are a central facet of Berkeley’s brilliance. To all of you, my best wishes for shining times ahead!
Andrew J. Szeri
Vice Provost for Graduate Studies
and Dean of the Graduate Division