College tales: Alumni share stories from the ’70s to 2017

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In honor of all the prospective new students visiting campus today, The Daily Californian asked Cal alumni to reflect on their time at UC Berkeley and share their favorite college stories. Here is a selection of the responses we received:

“One day during my freshman year, I was walking through Sproul Plaza to class. A protest was going on, but I wasn’t paying attention to the speaker as I wound my way through the crowd. Suddenly, everyone around me began taking their clothes off. Suddenly, I was surrounded by naked people of all ages. I haven’t seen as many naked people since then as I did on that day.”

Deirdre Piper, ‘96

“Going into the 1986 Big Game, Cal was 1-9 and Stanfurd had a great record and was heading to the Gator Bowl. We were heavy underdogs, but we somehow beat them 17-11!! The very devoted rooting section poured onto the field!! I remember being shocked at what a drop it was down onto the field, but some student I didn’t know caught me as we all ran around screaming and hugging one another! The whole damn world was definitely Bear Territory!! (And the rest of that horrible season was a distant memory!) Go Bears!!!”

— Karen (O’Hara) Green, ‘88

“I was an RA at Unit 3 my junior year and ended up meeting my current boyfriend then, as he was an RA in another building. We were just friends for months, in part because he had this messy long hair that didn’t suit him. He ended up going to Cuba over winter break (when he was still deep in the friend zone — seriously, I called him my coffee buddy), where he proceeded to come back with an awesome haircut. Guess you can say things worked out.”

— Taryn Thomas, ‘17

“I lived in an all-male floor in the dorms.  It was kind of a drag because everyone was a nerd, I guess including me.  But after dinner many nights, we would listen to what we identified as our “cult songs” on a guy’s stereo, SUPER LOUD — Born to Run, Island Girl (usually at 33 rpm even though the record was a 45) and my favorite, the Kinks Schoolboys in Disgrace album.  We were thrilled when we learned that the Kinks were giving a concert at Berkeley High School to perform the album.  We all went, and it was the best concert I’ve ever seen! I’m in disgrace, I’m in disgrace. Because I fell for her pretty face, I’m in disgrace …”

Mike, ‘76


Samuel, ‘17

Contact Olivia Jerram at [email protected].