Best in the West: Things UC Berkeley is ranked No. 1 for

Daniel Ho/File

When the U.S. News & World Report released its 2020 rankings, UC Berkeley was deemed a shocking “number two” in the best public university rankings, losing the coveted position to UCLA. The SoCal campus received a score of 80, while UC Berkeley trailed miles behind at a 78. Although we may have not come in at the top this year, at least we received a ranking, which is better than the 2019 rankings! Better luck next year, Bears. In light of being dethroned, here are five other things that UC Berkeley is first for.

First University of California

While it may be hard to imagine now, there was a time long, long ago when the only UC campus in existence was UC Berkeley. There was just the University of California, which later became UC Berkeley due to the multitude of campuses that would spawn after its creation. Dare we say, UC Berkeley is one trendsetter. UC Berkeley was founded in 1868 and is the flagship institution of the UC system.

No. 1 public engineering college

Owing to its deeply rooted prestige and rigor, UC Berkeley is recognized around the world for a variety of majors. One field that stood out this academic year, however, was the engineering college, which took the number one spot in the nation for public schools. Hey, U.S. News & World Report did give UC Berkeley a number one ranking after all!

First college meme page

If meme pages were factored into a university’s overall ranking, UC Berkeley would surely bump up to the number one spot. UC Berkeley has been influential in many things, and as we transition into the 21st century, it comes as no surprise that memes would find their way on the campus’ impressive list of accomplishments.

First choice for many of your favorite fictional characters

UC Berkeley is the alma mater for some of the world’s most famous individuals, from actors to attorneys to astronauts. But, you’d be surprised by the sheer number of fictional alumni who also graced this campus sometime in the “past.” Troy Bolton from “High School Musical” is a UC Berkeley basketball star. Dr. Emmett Brown from “Back to the Future,” the inventor of the only DeLorean time machine known to mankind, attended UC Berkeley. And we can’t forget to include the quintessential college coming of age narrative, “The Graduate,” which also involves a fictional UC Berkeley student.

First on-campus automated food delivery service

When the cliched notion of “robots taking over the world” comes to your mind, the last thing you’d think of is the campus’ beloved Kiwibots. While they’re unaffiliated with the school, not a day goes by where you don’t see one of these adorable little bots roaming through campus. Finding time to cook or go out of your way to eat out can be more time consuming for college students than you’d imagine, but thankfully these unofficial college mascots come to the rescue.

UC Berkeley might not have been the No. 1 public university this year, but these firsts definitely make it number one in our hearts and in spirit.

Contact Erika Lee at [email protected].