Flashback Friday: Oct. 2, 1967

As we approach Homecoming this year — with a mass parade of events, parties and football — we invite you to look back at the history of our campus. In 1967, UC Berkeley began a year-long series of events to mark the 100th anniversary of its founding.

Heynes Blazes Centennial Trail by Carla Lazeareschi

The cannon was fired…

The California marching band began playing “California Alma Mater”…

The blue and gold flag commemorating the UC’s centennial celebrations was proudly hoisted.

And with the flag-raising ceremony at the campus entrance at Bancroft and Telegraph the campus officially began its year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the University Saturday.  

Chancellor Roger W. Haynes and ASUC president Dick Beahrs welcomed about 400,000 students, alumni, and UC officials to the ceremony. Oski, the short and pudgy bear, University mascot, stood behind Heynes and nodded approvingly as the Chancellor described the history of the University’s official and centennial flags.

A Walk Around

In his opening address, Heynes invited the spectators to join him on a walk around the campus, an abbreviated version of the centennial trail.

The centennial trail, a walking tour of the campus, was then officially opened to the public for the duration of the centennial year festivities. The trail commemorates the founding of the University’s first campus and its growth since 1868.

The shortened tour stopped at three main points of interest on the campus: Faculty Glade, Hearst Mining circle, and the Campanile. At each stop, an ASUC official an eminent member of the campus administration or faculty and called upon him to describe the importance and history of that spot.

History of a Knoll

At Faculty Glade, Sigfried Schneutgen, ASUC student advocate, introduced Earl F. Cheit, executive vice chancellor of the University. Cheit briefly narrated the long and varied history of the grassy knoll situated in the center of what has been labeled as “Berkeley architectural anarchy.”

Cheit told of how this are used to be called “co-ed canyon” during the early decades when when a quasi-fertility dance pageant was performed on the grass annually by the female students.

The pageant, celebrating the transition from maidenhood to womanhood, began in 1911 but was discontinued in the 1930s “when interest in this sort of activity died and funds gave out.”

At Hearst Mining Circle, Ken Stahl, ASUC first vice president, wearing sandals and a peace button, called upon Nobel Laureate Emilio Segre, professor of physics, to talk about the significance of the scientific discoveries made on the Berkeley campus.

Segre, after briefly mentioning the cyclotrons on the eastern hills overlooking the campus, admitted that he didn’t “want to be too parochial.”

He said that students who learn to use the campus libraries will have the inexhaustible friends for the duration of their stay at Berkeley.

As the crowd meandered over to the Campanile, the third and final stop, the Campanile bells began to peal “California Alma Mater.”

The purpose of the stop was to open a small museum of UC history in the Campanile lobby. Speaking at this site, Dean of the College of Letters and Science Walter Knight described the Campanile as representing the working together of many different scholarly efforts for one common goal—education.

Ivana Saric is the special issues editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ivanas26.