What is UC Berkeley? 8 times when UC Berkeley was an answer on ‘Jeopardy!’

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“Jeopardy!” is the premier puzzle quiz show on television, a haven for trivia buffs, know-it-alls and those looking to show off their niche interests. UC Berkeley has strong roots in the “Jeopardy!” universe, both in terms of contestants appearing on the show (including alumna Niki Peters, who competed on the “Jeopardy! College Championship” in 2016 as a student) and as part of the questions. Here are eight examples of times Alex Trebek has posed questions to contestants in which the correct answer was our good old campus.

A brief disclaimer: Though Berkeley as a city has often been used as a “Jeopardy!” answer, this list is limited to times when “UC Berkeley” or “Berkeley” in relation to campus would be considered correct. This list was also compiled using Jeopardy! data from the J! Archive online database.


Episode: #7566

Category: Colleges & Universities

Question value: $600 (and the Daily Double!)

Question: Of the 10 University of California campuses, this one in northern California is alphabetically first.

Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, LA, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz. Yet again, Berkeley comes first!


Episode: #7410

Category: The Map of Science

Question value: $1600

Question: The USA’s oldest national laboratory is the one named for Ernest Lawrence at this university.

At UC Berkeley, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory peers over campus in its hillside locale. It’s a staple of the campus layout and one that most students are familiar with.


Episode: #5867

Category: Where am I?

Question value: $800

Question: I’m on the campus of this university in the Bay Area, where 1960s student activism sparked the Free Speech Movement

The Free Speech Movement is integral to the identity of UC Berkeley. The legacy of it is present everywhere on campus, such as the namesake Free Speech Movement Cafe that many campus denizens frequent.


Episode: #5312

Category: Colleges & Universities

Question value: $400

Question: The Trustees of the College of California bought 160 acres of land north of Oakland & named the site this in 1866.

The College of California was the predecessor to the UC system and helped establish the UC Berkeley campus as we know it today. The campus wouldn’t formally be located on this piece of land until 1873, however, with the completion of North Hall and South Hall.


Episode: #4960

Category: Record Losses in 2005

Question value: $200

Question: A computer with 98,000 names and SSNs was reported stolen from this oldest campus of the University of California.

This 2005 breech was the result of a robbery that occurred in the Graduate Division offices of Sproul Hall. According to Trebek in this episode, however: “They got ‘em back.”


Episode: #4838

Category: Elementary, My Dear

Question value: $600

Question: It’s the university city in which the element californium was discovered.

We’ve all seen the ubiquitous T-shirts with another element discovered at UC Berkeley — Bk, or Berkelium — which was discovered in 1949. Californium, or Cf, was discovered in 1950 and is another significant element discovered on campus.


Episode: #3995

Category: Freedom Fighters

Question value: $400

Question: Mario Savio set off the Free Speech Movement when political activities were banned on this UC campus in 1964.

The Savio Steps are indicative of how significant Mario Savio has been to UC Berkeley and its role in the Free Speech Movement. Luckily the contestant got this one right.


Episode: #3740

Category: Corporate America

Question value: $300

Question: In 1998 former Clinton economic advisor Laura Tyson became Bankamerica dean at this oldest UC campus.

This question was a triple stumper, with none of the contestants buzzing in correctly. Tyson became an economics professor at UC Berkeley in 1977 and became dean of Haas School of Business in 1998.

Camryn Bell is the special issues editor. Contact her at [email protected] .