Take time to celebrate Veterans Day

November 9, 2023

Dear campus community,

Tomorrow we are observing Veterans Day, a day in which we take time to honor the individuals who have served and the contributions they bring to the UC Berkeley community. The theme of Veterans Day this year is “Service.” While this includes their service for our country, it also speaks to the pervasive spirit of ongoing public service veterans invest in our communities. To show your appreciation for our veterans and be of service to them, consider making a gift to the Cal Veterans Student Services Fund.

While Memorial Day honors military personnel who have given their lives for this country and Armed Forces Day celebrates those on active duty; Veterans Day is unique in that it allows us to thank and honor the public service of our veteran and military-connected community. Consider participating in a two-minute moment of silence to honor the sacrifice of veterans that will occur simultaneously across the nation on Veterans Day at 11:11 a.m. (Pacific).

100th anniversary of California Memorial Stadium 

California Memorial Stadium, the home of Cal Football, has celebrated veterans for over 100 years. The stadium was first dedicated in 1923 to Californians who gave their lives in the First World War. When California Memorial Stadium reopened in 2012, it was rededicated to all Californians who have sacrificed their lives in service to the nation. We continue to honor the military and military-connected community at the Cal football game closest to the Veterans Day holiday. As apart of that celebration Cal Athletics will be distributing miniature replicas of California Memorial Stadium to the first 10,000 fans in attendance. 

Veterans resources on campus

We have several resources on campus that support our military and military-connected students: 

  • The Cal Veteran Services Center (CVSC) provides programs and support, such as financial aid counseling, mental health counseling in partnership with the San Francisco VA Student Veteran Health Program, and peer advising. The CVSC career mentorship program partners with active Berkeley alumni, such as Clayton Chan ‘87, COO and co-owner of Ladle & Leaf, who are helping our veteran and military-connected students and young alums achieve their professional and personal career goals.

  • The Veterans Benefits unit in the Office of the Registrar assists student veterans with using their educational benefits while pursuing their academic careers. 

  • Berkeley Law offers the Veterans Law Practicum, in which law students advocate on behalf of veterans. The program is currently focused on correcting discharge statuses due to Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Service and scholarship

We have over 250 student GI Bill recipients and 136 staff and 31 faculty self-identified veterans at UC Berkeley. In leadership positions on campus, David C. Wilson, dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy, is a military veteran with 19 years of service in the US Army Reserves, including combat tours for Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom. Jim Knowlton, director of Cal Athletics, served for 26 years on active duty in the US Army.  We express our deep appreciation for their commitment and sacrifices to all community members who have served. 

Celebratory events

Please join us at the Cal vs. Washington State football game (Nov. 11) as we honor our veterans. Activities will include a special on-field recognition event, replicas of Cal Memorial Stadium handed out at the gate, and other 100th anniversary celebrations of Memorial Stadium.

Additionally, the Cal Veterans Group and Cal Veteran Services Center will be hosting a Veterans Day Celebration starting three hours prior to kickoff at Wurster Hall Platform Art Space. During this time we will be highlighting service and continued public service of veteran and military-connected students. Cal Athletics will distribute special Challenge Coins to veterans and the Spirit team will pay a visit to honor our veterans.

Finally, as thanks for their service, student veterans will receive a meal voucher for use at any Berkeley Dining commons for a wide array of healthy, great-tasting meals. Visit the Cal Veteran Services Center at 102 Hearst Memorial Gym to collect the voucher. 

This CalMessage and the Veterans Day webpage were developed in partnership and consultation with Cal Veteran Services Center lead student peer advisor and Coast Guard veteran Damian Villalobos, Molecular & Cell Biology major, Class of 2024; and Ron Williams, Director, Centers for Educational Equity and Excellence Independent Student Programs. We thank them for their dedicated support and subject matter expertise.

In community,

Stephen C. Sutton 
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Dania Matos 
Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion

Luis A. Hernandez 
Director/ Veterans Academic Achievement Counselor, Cal Veteran Services Center

Victoria Plautshe/her/ella
Vice Provost for the Faculty

Eugene Whitlock 
Chief People and Culture Officer

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