Haas alumnus Richard C. Blum, BS 58, MBA 59, was given the Berkeley Medal, the university's highest honor, by UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau on Saturday. Blum accepted the medal at a special event with His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Greek Theatre.
The Chancellor bestowed the award to Blum, who chairs the UC Regents and is an investment banker, for his commitment to the alleviation of poverty both in San Francisco and abroad.
Since his days as a mountaineer, Blum has developed a deep appreciation for the Tibetan people. He founded the American Himalayan Foundation in San Francisco, which is headed by Erica Stone, MBA 87, for education and healthcare support as well as environmental preservation in Tibet. At UC Berkeley, he funded the Richard C. Blum Center for Developing Economies. The two organizations co-sponsored Saturday's event with the Dalai Lama, a long-time friend of Blum.
"Richard… has passed on his passion to many UC Berkeley students," said Birgeneau. "He exemplifies the many passions and ideals to which UC Berkeley aspires."
"This is a merger of the two things I love the most," responded Blum, "UC Berkeley and the Tibetan people and their blight."