Dave and Angelica Clark


More than three decades after graduating from Cal, Dave Clark remains connected to his alma mater — as both a donor and a Cal Parent. Reflecting that deep connection is the recurring generosity that Dave and his wife, Angelica, have displayed toward Berkeley over the years. “I’ve been a donor every year since I graduated,” says Dave, a portfolio manager, “in the beginning giving very modestly and slowly increasing over the years.”

Their status as Cal Parents — their eldest daughter, Alexandra, will graduate in 2019 — only strengthened their support. “It’s reinforced our desire to help Cal in any way we can,” says Angelica, a retired investment professional who also volunteers on the Cal Parents Board along with Dave. “It’s important to try and support the academic institution your child is attending.”

That’s exactly what they’ve done, most recently supporting the Cal Parents Fund and Intercollegiate Athletics, the latter inspired by Dave’s years playing rugby at Cal as well as Alexandra’s participation in women’s crew. For the Clarks, Cal is practically a part of the family, and deserving of consistent support. “We feel it’s important to give back,” Dave says, “and we hope to instill that legacy of giving in Alexandra as well.”

Allan and Sydne Bortel


As Berkeley alumni, Allan and Sydne Bortel know firsthand how exceptional the university is. But a recent campus tour with their granddaughter, a high school junior, reminded the couple of Cal’s power to shape the world’s brightest young minds. “The enthusiasm on campus, the sense of support between students, the caliber of the professors — it all leads us to want to continue to support the university,” says Sydne, a retired social worker who now tutors first-grade schoolchildren from immigrant families.

Though the Bortels both earned graduate degrees at Cal, they are particularly inspired by the potential of the university’s talented undergraduates. “These students have an incredible challenge ahead,” says Allan, a retired investment banker, “and Berkeley provides focus and a culture of responsibility beyond any experience that I or our grown children received.”

Allan and Sydne’s wide-ranging support of Cal — from the Haas School of Business and the School of Optometry to the Library and the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life — reflects their belief in its ability to transform lives in a variety of ways. “A contribution to UC Berkeley,” Sydne says, “is an investment in the future of our world.”

Rishi Chopra


For Rishi Chopra, the motivation to give back to his alma mater is clear: he simply wants to pay it forward. “By giving,” Rishi says, “I’m hoping to help keep alive the promise of Berkeley for future generations of students.”

His gratitude to Berkeley not only stems from his education — he earned a degree in electrical engineering — but also from the Cal family at large. “A fellow Berkeley alumnus hired me at IBM,” he says, referring to his work as an engineer for the tech stalwart after graduation. Over the years, Rishi has consistently given back to the College of Engineering, taking advantage of generous gift-matching programs, as well as to the Library and Intercollegiate Athletics, among many areas of campus.

For Rishi, the need to support the world’s number one public university is stronger than ever. “Our alma mater is the best in the world,” he says, “but state support has dwindled over the past 10 to 15 years. The most important thing should be to ensure that all deserving students, even those with a lack of means, can come to Berkeley. That promise is why the campus stays close to the hearts of so many.”

Jon and Denise Fan


For Jon Fan, being connected to UC Berkeley is all he’s ever known — he’s a lifelong resident of Berkeley and the son of two Cal alumni. His bond with the campus strengthened considerably when he enrolled as a student and met his wife, Denise, while playing together on their dorm’s intramural basketball team.

“We both regard Cal as a transformational experience in our lives,” says Jon, a product manager at a software company. “It played a big part in who we are today.”

These days, the Fans happily give back — across the campus — to the institution that gave them so much. “We’ve focused on areas that we relate to the most,” says Denise, the corporate controller of a restaurant group. “We donate to Cal volleyball because we love the sport and want to support the student-athletes in a sport that may not get as much funding as the major ones. Our engineering gifts are a nod to Jon’s studies. And we donate to scholarships because we understand what it’s like when financial means are a major obstacle to one’s pursuit of a quality education.”

Jon and Denise have a passion for supporting minority, low-income, and underrepresented students. “Cal provides us with a great opportunity to do just that,” says Jon. “The university plays a big part in our overall philanthropic priorities each year.”

Jim and Ruth Reynolds


Though they aren’t Cal alumni or Bay Area natives, Jim and Ruth Reynolds have truly appreciated living in Berkeley ever since relocating from Seattle in the 1980s. At the heart of their love for the city is the university. “Berkeley is such a great place to call home,” says Jim, a retired executive who worked for Peet’s Coffee. “And UC Berkeley is a big part of that.”

In particular, Jim and Ruth treasure the campus’s many offerings in the arts — Ruth, in fact, is an artist herself — and as donors they devote much of their support to those areas of campus, including Cal Performances and the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA).  Jim also sits on the board of Cal Performances and previously served as a BAMPFA trustee. But it’s not just the arts that excite the couple about the university.

“When we talk to people about how good Cal is,” says Jim, “it’s not just the museum or the arts — it’s the excellence of the academics as well. I’ve always appreciated Cal’s role in keeping a lively intellectual atmosphere here in the Bay Area.”

Ruth adds, “Both of us are really enthusiastic about Cal. We love walking through the campus and taking in that feeling of excitement and intellectual ferment going on.”



Throughout a long and varied career in fields ranging from software to real estate, Hock Lee has always maintained a passion for preserving the excellence of Berkeley. “Cal is number one in my overall philanthropic priorities,” says Hock, who studied computer science at Cal and lives in the Seattle area.

More than three decades ago, Hock graduated from Berkeley and landed his first job as a software engineer at Microsoft. Since then, his pride in his alma mater’s preeminence and belief in its public mission have never wavered. That’s why he recently made a significant pledge to establish the Fund for Faculty Excellence in the College of Letters & Science’s Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences.

“Berkeley has become a world-leading university without the outsized endowment that many leading institutions have,” says Hock. “The competition for faculty is fierce, and many cutting-edge research projects are expensive. We should do more to attract and keep them by narrowing the compensation and funding gap.”

Knowing firsthand the expense involved in staying ahead of the technology curve, Hock is happy to give back to the school that gave him so much. “Berkeley is world-class,” he says. “It excels in both instruction and research — and I want to help make sure it stays that way.”



A former executive in the cellular telephone business, Don Guthrie recognizes the appeal of staying connected. That understanding informs his philanthropy, too — though he graduated from Cal in the 1970s, he’s remained connected to his alma mater through consistent generosity to the university.

He’s particularly loyal to the areas that enriched his time at Berkeley the most. Having earned dual degrees in economics and statistics, he supports those programs regularly — as well as the University Library, practically a second home to him during his time on campus.

“Berkeley is a place that had a key influence on my life and taught me many lessons,” Don says. “My hope is that, by supporting the university, it will continue to have a positive influence on future generations.”

Don feels an especially deep connection to Cal, in part, because his grandmother was also an alum. Don’s mother also graduated from a UC school, UCLA, doing so a year after he finished his studies at Berkeley.

With such a strong commitment to public education in the family — Don’s father taught statistics at Oregon State University and UCLA — it’s no wonder that he has remained connected to Cal. “The school is remarkable,” he says. “There’s no other label you can put on it.”

Peter Muñoz and Jane Leroe

PETER MUÑOZ ’68, M.A. ’70, J.D. ’75 AND JANE LEROE ’68, J.D. ’71

Peter Muñoz and Jane Leroe thrived as students at Cal, though their paths to Berkeley were quite different. Peter worked throughout his years in college, while Jane relied on family support to cover her education costs. Their success underscores their firm belief that the University should remain open to all deserving students regardless of their ability to pay — and has led to their lasting support of Cal scholarships offered through The Achievement Award Program (TAAP).

“I could afford to work my way through college,” says Peter, an attorney specializing in commercial real estate law. “You can’t do it now.”

The mission of TAAP, administered by the Cal Alumni Association, resonates with them. “Often, you’re helping the first person in their family go to college, and they’ve worked hard but can’t afford to pay tuition at even a state school,” says Jane. “It’s important for us to help them out.”

The couple also actively supports the Center on Civility and Democratic Engagement, funded in large part through gifts from the Class of 1968. For Peter and Jane, supporting the center isn’t just the right thing to do — it’s practically their birthright. “We’re children of the ’60s,” says Jane. “We want people to speak civilly to one another.”

They have also passed down their love of Cal to their three grown children, all Berkeley alumni. Like their parents, the Leroe-Muñoz children are active Cal donors and volunteers. “Cal is like a part of our family,” says Jane. “Not a day goes by where we don’t talk about it or even say ‘Go Bears!’ It’s amazing how woven it is into our lives.”