10 Fun Facts about UC Berkeley

September 24, 2015

Whether you’re applying to UC Berkeley this fall or you already attend, these are facts you need to know. From school colors and clocks to the secret steam tunnels, UC Berkeley has a lot of fun (and quirky) facts. 

1.  Standing at 307 feet tall, the Campanile (also referred to as Sather Tower) is the third tallest bell and clock tower in the world.

2.  The campus colors are blue and gold.  Blue was chosen for the California sky and ocean and the Yale graduates that moved west to establish the university and gold was chosen for the “Golden State.”   

3.  It’s tradition for students to roll down 4.0 Hill on campus to get good grades.  If you step on the Berkeley seal nearby, however, it’s said you’ll be cursed for the year.  Bonus:  The stone ball in front of the Campanile is now referred to as “4.0 Ball.”  Rubbing it before taking an exam is considered good luck.  

4.  A gold nugget found at the Bancroft Library is believed to be the the piece of gold that John Marshall discovered on January 24, 1848 to set off the California Gold Rush. 

 

5.  There’s a series of interconnected underground steam tunnels that was built in the early 1900s to generate power for the campus.  In the 1960s, students protesting one of the Chancellor’s policies regarding the Vietnam War chained the Chancellor’s doors together.  With no other way to escape, the Chancellor used the steam tunnels to escape. 

6.  ...After this protest in the 1960s, the exterior double doors of the Chancellor’s office were changed so they only had one doorknob and that remains today. 

 

7.  The Free Speech Movement started in 1964 at UC Berkeley and led to a college campus phenomenon that was first inspired by the struggle for civil rights and fueled by opposition to the Vietnam War. 

8.  Despite Berkeley’s liberal reputation, the Berkeley College Republicans is one of the largest student organizations on campus and is the largest College Republican organization in California. 

 

9.  The California Victory Cannon was donated by the class of 1964 and continues to be fired at the beginning of every home football game, after each score, and after each victory. 

 

10.  The Big C was built in 1905 and sits in the hills overlooking campus.  Other University of California campuses have since constructed their own versions of the Big C. 

Interested in UC Berkeley? Click here to view our UC Berkeley admit profiles to browse hundreds of students who were accepted! If you’re already in college, sign up here to earn money by submitting your college application materials.



Browse Successful Application Files

Bhenrique
UC Berkeley ‘19


Accepted to UC Berkeley, Penn State, Colorado, UCLA, NYU

Passionate about Education. Lover of all things science!
Kaitlyn_Albers
UC Berkeley ‘19


Accepted to UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Davis, UCSD, Cal Poly, SDSU, UCSB

UC Berkeley Class of 2019
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UC Berkeley ‘18


Accepted to UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCSB, Cal Poly

Berkeley Engineering. Low SAT. Doing Great!
cindy888
UC Berkeley ‘21


Accepted to UC Berkeley, UCLA, USC, WashU, UCSD, NYU, BC, UCSB, UC Davis, UC Irvine

Avid traveler, video gamer, reader, and History geek. UC Berkeley '21 (History/Political Economy double major, Pre-Law)

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