Chancellor’s Challenge for student aid a ‘success,’ extended through 2013

Nearly 2,000 faculty, staff, students and retirees have contributed $7.1 million to a special fund set up by Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau to help pay for financial aid to students. Matching funds provided by the campus doubled the total to $14.2 million raised since the beginning of the program in 2007, the chancellor announced in a message going out to the UC Berkeley community Tuesday.

Because of the success of the Chancellor’s Challenge for Student Support, the chancellor is extending the program and its matching funds through Dec. 31, 2013.

“I am proud of and inspired by everything the campus community is doing to continue our University’s access and excellence,” the chancellor said, inviting people to visit for details of the challenge.

The full text of the chancellor’s message follows.

“Dear Campus Community,

“To increase funds for student financial aid, I launched a dollar-for-dollar matching gift program in 2007 called The Chancellor’s Challenge for Student Support. All gifts made by members of the campus community to Berkeley’s endowments for need-based undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships have been doubled, providing critical resources for our students. I am pleased to report that nearly 2,000 faculty, staff, students, and retirees stepped up to the Challenge and gave $7.1 million. When combined with the matching funds, the amount totals $14.2 million — a hopeful indicator during these challenging times that we share a commitment to making the dream of a Berkeley education possible for many outstanding students.  

“Because of this success and the bold actions required to respond to declining State support, I am extending the Challenge through December 31, 2013, to continue matching donations. Joining this community effort is one important way to ensure that our students have equal access to a Berkeley education — access based on the ability to achieve, not on the ability to pay.

“I am proud of and inspired by everything the campus community is doing to continue our University’s access and excellence. I thank you on behalf of the students who benefit from the life-changing opportunities that scholarships and fellowships provide. If you are interested in learning more about this innovative program, please visit

“With warmest regards.

“Yours sincerely,

“Robert J. Birgeneau”