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Unprecedented campus construction marked Carol Christ’s chancellorship

It's been "a golden era for UC Berkeley's physical development," says Marc Fisher, vice chancellor for administration.

As her retirement nears, UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ is being lauded as a collaborative and effective leader who is decisive, a listener and team builder, and a champion of free speech, equity and inclusion, and knowledge creation.

These values and priorities all are embodied in what likely will be Christ’s most visible legacy at Berkeley: major changes to its physical landscape. Such a level of building activity, all on her watch, hasn’t been seen at Berkeley since the 1960s.

Hundreds of construction projects — from small to immense — were completed, got underway or are soon to start. Major highlights in the slideshow above include the Bakar BioEnginuity Hub, an incubator for biotech startups serving the greater good; Creekside Center, an essential space for the Disabled Students’ Program; and the Gateway, a 367,270-square-foot home for the College of Computing, Data Science, and Society.

Marc Fisher, vice chancellor for administration, calls Christ’s tenure “a golden era for UC Berkeley’s physical development.”

Five people including Chancellor Christ put shovels into a box of earth at a groundbreaking ceremony for Anchor House, an apartment complex for graduate students. Each is wearing a yellow hard hat and smiling at the camera.
In winter 2022, Chancellor Christ helped break ground for Helen Diller Anchor House, a housing complex one block from campus that’s designed just for transfer students. Transfers often can’t find affordable housing near campus and struggle to connect to traditional undergraduate experiences.

Keegan Houser/UC Berkeley

“Her visionary leadership has not only expanded our campus infrastructure,” he says, “but enhanced our academic and research capabilities and set new standards for excellence and sustainability. We’ve witnessed the construction of cutting-edge research facilities, modernized classrooms and new housing complexes — all designed to meet the needs of our diverse and dynamic community.”

Christ also unnamed five campus buildings, upon advice from the Building Name Review Committee she launched, and supported names for new buildings that are more inclusive and representative of the broader campus community.

Campus architect Wendy Hillis adds that Christ’s dedication to Berkeley’s long range development plan and the creation in 2022 of the new campus master plan “reflects her deep understanding of the critical role that physical spaces play in fostering academic excellence and community. Her impact on our campus will be felt for generations.”