UC Berkeley’s Light the Way campaign, which increases research opportunities, campus facilities and available resources all while improving the undergraduate experience, is nearing its goal to raise $6 billion by the end of 2023.
Campus held a Builders of Berkeley event Oct. 19 to recognize donors who have made the campaign’s success possible. Builders of Berkeley, donors who have given more than $1 million to the university, are an integral part of the fundraising effort.
“For us as donors, we feel proud to be part of the group that is being honored tonight,” said donor and Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. “It’s wonderful to be here, and it’s great to meet people and hear their stories and why they’re inspired by Berkeley, why they decided to help the university.”
Launched in February 2020, the Light the Way campaign has raised $5.97 billion, bringing campus closer to meeting its goal. The campaign is set to tentatively end Dec. 31, 2023, before the celebration of its success Feb. 29, 2024; the latter date marks the five-year anniversary of the project.
The campaign seeks to have a tremendous impact on the future of campus. It will provide funds for resources that will bring in and retain top-tier faculty and will expand research that benefits the public good, according to campus spokesperson Elizabeth Costello. Campus also seeks to use campaign funds to build new facilities and provide more scholarships and resources to undergraduates.
“The Light the Way campaign serves as a throughline for UC Berkeley’s eclectic offerings, inviting our community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends to join forces toward a shared goal,” Costello said in an email. “Our fundraisers have been working to build upon existing relationships and develop new ones with our alumni and with friends to the campus who recognize Berkeley’s capacity to make positive change.”
One unique outcome of this campaign will be the construction of the Helen Diller Anchor House, an apartment-style residential building intended for transfer students, according to a press release from campus Chancellor Carol Christ.
Through the campaign, campus hopes to provide both affordable housing and a sense of community for its transfer students, two things they do not always have ready access to, Christ added.
Christ emphasized that regardless of how unique one’s experience at UC Berkeley is, all students deserve the best experience possible. From increasing the supply of instruments for Cal Band to expanding campus’s Haas School of Business’ two-year undergraduate program, the campaign is brimming with positive outcomes.
“We launched our last campaign just before the economy crashed in 2008, and the current one just in time for the pandemic to change the world forever,” Christ said in the press release. “And yet, our community has rallied again and again, turning crisis into opportunity. Now I call that audacious.”