Speakers for the symposiums — a series of panels that will begin at 9
a.m. at International House — include Hanna Gray, president emerita of
the University of Chicago; Saul Perlmutter, a Nobel laureate and a UC
Berkeley professor of physics; and Michael Roth, president of Wesleyan
According to Robert Hass, a professor of English and a former U.S. poet
laureate who will introduce the speakers, speeches will address
undergraduate education, the role of the global university and basic and
applied research. These themes will be central to Dirks’ administration.
UC President Janet Napolitano will attend the ceremony, making Dirks’
inauguration among the first of the freshman president’s official
appearances. Napolitano will present Dirks with the Chancellor’s Medal,
a prominent part of the chancellor’s regalia.
This will be Napolitano’s first visit to UC Berkeley as president. Her
visits to other UC campuses, including Irvine, Santa Cruz and Davis,
have sparked protests by students angered by her role in the deportation
of undocumented immigrants while serving as U.S. Secretary of Homeland
“We will be prepared for people who want their voices to be heard, but I
think the day will be mostly positive,” Mogulof said.
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