Welcome back to campus: ‘Together we have risen to the occasion’

Chancellor Carol Christ and Catherine Koshland, interim executive vice chancellor and provost, sent the following message to the campus community Monday:

Today is a momentous occasion for our community. Together, we have for the last 16 months travelled a difficult and unprecedented path. Together, we have been challenged and tested by the pandemic and its impacts on our campus, our country and the world. And together, we have risen to the occasion in support of our mission, our students and each other. For these reasons, and so many more, we are thrilled to finally begin our transition to in-person operations across the campus.

From the very beginning, the Berkeley community prioritized the health and well-being of our students, staff and faculty. We committed ourselves to following the science, while viewing and addressing every challenge we faced through an equity lens. We protected jobs, provided support and services to those in need and marshalled our academic resources to serve the public and advance the greater good.

We believe that by virtue of our resilience, innovation, and dedication this university will emerge stronger, better and more relevant than ever. At the same time, we realize that if the difficulties we faced collectively and individually were unprecedented, so too, will our transition to a new normal be replete with unexpected developments. Yet, we have learned a great deal along the way and are now better prepared to face new challenges — and opportunities — in the future.

We are incredibly proud of the entire campus community and grateful for all that you did to help us navigate through this crisis. From our staff members who worked so hard to clean and sanitize the facilities that remained open, to our public health and medical experts who provided wise counsel every step of the way, to our faculty who quickly developed new muscles and methods and showed, once again, what Berkeley is all about.

We thank you all for everything that you have done to support our mission, our values and our community.

In recognition of your efforts and sacrifices, we have planned a number of celebratory activities this week.

A Video for You

First, we invite you to watch a short video to honor and praise your efforts.

Campanile concerts to honor onsite workers

On Wednesday, we’re dedicating the day’s Campanile concerts to those employees who were onsite day in and day out throughout the pandemic and will hold a special concert at 1:30 p.m. in their honor. University Carillonist Jeff Davis will perform a special selection of songs including: “All Hail! Blue & Gold” by Howard Bingham, class of 1908; “Allegretto” by Fernando Sor and “Allegro” by Manuel Blasco De Nebra.

Special celebration for all staff and faculty on Friday

On Friday, July 16, we invite all staff and faculty to gather on Sproul Plaza at noon for a celebratory event that will include free ice cream, music and a brief program at 12:15 p.m. We’ll also be distributing lapel pins to commemorate your efforts during the pandemic. Please come at noon if you can but we’ll stick around until 2 p.m. to accommodate schedules.

T-shirts for onsite workers

For those employees who worked on site throughout the pandemic, we’ll also be distributing commemorative T-shirts through your managers. We can’t thank you enough for all of your work.

Special discounts throughout the week

From July 12 to 16, 2021, Cal Dining is offering a special deal for staff and faculty: $5 lunch at Crossroads Dining Hall. And the Cal Student Store is offering all UC Berkeley staff and faculty 20 percent off in-store purchases. Just show your valid Cal 1 Card at the register to receive your discount.

Thank you, again, for all that you do for our students and to support our mission. Go Bears!