As part of Chancellor Christ and Vice Provost Garcia Bedolla’s efforts to build community across graduate programs and students, all new professional and master’s students were invited to a lively reception at the Chancellor’s residence on November 1, 2019.

More than 160 new students attended, and meeting the Chancellor and Vice Provost was a highlight for all: “It’s cool to talk to the Chancellor and other high-ranking people who you don’t really get to talk to on a one-to-one basis,” shared Victor Chan, a graduate student in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences program. “And it’s just nice to meet people from different backgrounds and different areas of the school,” he added.

Now in its second year, this reception is part of an evolving strategy to connect and build a welcoming community for new UC Berkeley students. Over the past four years, the number of enrolled professional and master’s students has doubled. New programs such as the Master of Information and Data Science, Master in Real Estate Development + Design, and the Executive Master of Public Affairs have brought new cohorts to campus with students eager to build connections relevant to their cross-disciplinary programs.

Students appreciated the event’s emphasis on community building, and enjoyed the chance to take an intentional moment to relax and recalibrate: “It just feels inviting with the greens, and the trees, and the rose garden. Students don’t really have access to this much public space, so it’s nice to see the sky, the sunset, and enjoy life,” observed Sophie Huang, a first-year School of Information student.