Bill, Chelsea Clinton to visit campus in April to host ‘CGI University’

In February 2010, former President Bill Clinton spoke from the stage of Zellerbach Hall, urging UC Berkeley students to apply to attend a three-day session of Clinton Global Initiative University, a project of his nonprofit foundation aimed at enabling those in higher education to “turn ideas into action.”

Bill Clinton

(Photo courtesy of Paul Morse/Clinton Global Initiative)

Soon, the “Comeback Kid” will be coming back to Berkeley. And this time, Chelsea is joining him.

Since its founding in 2007, CGI University has brought together students from more than 875 schools — including Berkeley — in 145 countries, inspiring thousands to make “commitments to action” in one of CGI U’s five focus areas: education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation and public health. In 2016, various organizations and institutions will make more than $750,000 available to CGI U attendees to help them implement their innovative solutions to global challenges.

“We are thrilled that UC Berkeley has been chosen as the host campus for this important conference that engages our young people in changing the world,” said Chancellor Nicholas Dirks. “The work of the foundation is truly inspiring, and I can’t think of a more appropriate setting for this gathering given our deeply rooted public-service mission. This will be a great showcase for the talents of college students coming together to put ideas into action in addressing major global challenges.”

At the ninth annual CGI U meeting, scheduled for April 1-3, 2016, undergraduate and graduate students from around the world are expected to gather on the Berkeley campus to discuss projects addressing these challenges. Previous CGIU “commitment-makers” from Berkeley include Rebecca Peters, who graduated in 2014 with Berkeley’s highest honor, the University Medal, and is now carrying out graduate work in water policy in the UK funded through the Marshall Scholarship; Ashley Miller, who has carried out her CGI U commitment to expand access to safe, treated water in coastal Kenya; and the Kanga Kare student team, which is working to develop low-cost baby incubators in developing countries to prevent neonatal deaths.

Students apply online to attend the annual three-day session, and are required to submit a detailed plan for a new, specific and measurable “commitment to action.”

To apply to attend CGI U 2016 at Berkeley, students must be at least 18 years old and enrolled in an institution of higher education at the time of the meeting. The early-decision and travel and lodging assistance application deadline is Oct. 16,, and the final application deadline is Dec. 1.

Interested and eligible students can learn more at cgiu.org , and can apply using this online form.