The Presentation of the Class Gift by Dylan Sunjic

Sometimes, you don’t know the importance of a yard sign, until it is brought to you by a dedicated faculty member on a rainy day in April. Sometimes, you fail to notice the power of a yearbook picture, until it is posted on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook beside photos of your friends, family members and classmates. Sometimes, you forget how special a school truly is, until your spring break turns out to be an everlasting vacation. 


During the toughest times, the Berkeley community has remained closer than ever, even when we are further apart. In a world currently dictated by isolation and separation, everyone seems to forget that solidarity is the key to success; but, Berkeley didn’t forget and that doesn’t surprise me at all. After thirteen years of chatting with my friends in endless hallways and exploring new opportunities, I have learned that this school is not solely defined by its amazing buildings or scenic campus: it is defined by the people that call it home. I’m talking about the teachers who show up on campus an hour before school starts to set up mind-blowing experiments for their students and work to answer every student’s question. I’m talking about the staff that prepares for the worst-case scenarios to make sure that each kid feels safe and the employees who guarantee that no student is left hungry. I’m talking about my fellow students and my classmates from the Class of 2020 that make each day unforgettable; the ones that spend hours on the fields, in the classroom and on the stage chasing their dreams and representing their school in the best way possible. It didn’t take an international issue to remind me how unique Berkeley is, but it did remind me to be grateful to belong to a community that treats every member like family. 


This year we have determined that the Class of 2020’s class gift will be more than just a gift; it will be an experience, the Berkeley experience. The $7,695.82 total raised through the Lights On the Lawn fundraiser and Student-Alumni Relations Committee break sales will be donated to the Endowed Alumni Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to incoming Berkeley students with demonstrated financial need. This donation will ensure that future students have the opportunity to follow in our footsteps. So, even while the Class of 2020 is making a positive difference around the world, this gift ensures that our legacy will remain right here at home.