UC Berkeley press release


Chang-Lin Tien honored at Incentive Awards dinner in last public appearance as UC Berkeley chancellor

by Jose Rodriguez

Berkeley - Chang-Lin Tien will be saluted Friday night in his last public appearance as chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley. He will be honored during a dinner for the Osher Foundation Incentive Awards Program, a project closely linked with him and his vision of public higher education.

The program selects one student from each of San Francisco's 13 academic public high schools and seven high schools in Oakland and Berkeley to attend UC Berkeley with four-year, $24,000 scholarships.

Chancellor Tien, who has served as honorary chair of the program since its inception, has embraced the project as a vital opportunity for disadvantaged students of all races who are academically talented yet might otherwise be unable to attend college.

The program is a key ingredient in the university's outreach efforts and has been hailed widely as a successful model for providing scholarships and academic support to exceptional students who have dealt with such challenges as poverty, language barriers, violent neighborhoods, and dysfunctional family situations.

Recipients selected have excelled not only in their high school classrooms, but on the athletic field, in student leadership organizations, and in their communities where they serve as volunteers. Once on the UC Berkeley campus, the Incentive Award Scholars return regularly to their high schools and serve as role models for other students coping with similar challenges, encouraging them to work toward a college education.

The dinner on Friday, June 20 will recognize the 19 recipients of the program who will be entering UC Berkeley this fall. The event begins at 6 p.m. in the Palace Hotel in San Francisco.

U.S. Rep. Ellen Tauscher will deliver a keynote address. The first-term congresswoman has worked toward building bipartisan support for programs that benefit children and education.

This is the first year that students have been selected for the program from Oakland and Berkeley high schools. Thanks to leadership gifts from the Bernard Osher Foundation totaling $5.5 million in the last two years, the program has been named the Osher Foundation Incentive Awards Program for

San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley.

In the last two years, key gifts from the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, the Whittier Family Foundations, the Clorox Company Foundation, and the William K. Bowes Foundation, have also allowed the program to expand and look to replicate itself in other communities.

The students selected in the entering freshman class are typical of those who have been selected since the program began in 1992. They are all students for whom the award represents the crucial push that permits them to go to college.

Rosa Maria Manriquez, a graduate of Fremont High School in Oakland, was the editor-in-chief of her school newspaper, senior class treasurer, a volunteer at the Oakland Museum, and a photographer whose work has been featured at the museum.

"I see my mother, a former housekeeper at Days Inn, and a former teenager picking grapes in the Napa Valley fields," she wrote in a statement to the program. "I respect my mother for working hard because I honor the sacrifices she made in her life. As the only family member who will graduate

from high school and move on to college, I want to succeed... I will not give up, especially since I have come this far."

Lamar Toney, a graduate of Balboa High School in San Francisco, maintained a 3.8 grade-point average while playing many sports and volunteering at the Bayshore Youth Organization, his church's youth organization, and drawing, painting, and sculpting. Without a father, he helped his mother raise his

brothers and sisters, and has held jobs since 14.

"From age 10," he wrote, "I always wanted to attend Berkeley, even though it seemed impossible for someone living with a single parent, so many siblings, in a poor, crime infested area. We are receiving government assistance. There was a time when things were so difficult that we were homeless for six months. Living among anger, violence, drugs, pain, and disillusionment, I realized that I did not want this to be part of my life . . . . I know that someday I will be able to help others find their way to a better life."

Chang-Lin Tien steps down as chancellor at the end of June, after completing seven years at the head of the UC Berkeley campus. He recently has accepted an endowed chair as the NEC Distinguished Professor of Engineering.

Robert M. Berdahl will succeed Tien as UC Berkeley's chancellor.

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