The greatest gift in Berkeley Haas history will convert the undergraduate business program from two to four years

The greatest gift in Berkeley Haas history will convert the undergraduate business program from two to four years | Pro Club Bd


In recognition of the $30 million gift from Haas alumnus Warren “Ned” Spieker, BS 66, and his wife Carol, BA 66 (political science), UC Berkeley will host the Haas School’s four-year Spieker Undergraduate Business Program to name . The first four-year student cohorts will enroll in August 2024.

“Four years of undergraduate business experience will offer students remarkable new opportunities,” said Ned Spieker, a Haas School board member and founder and former chairman and CEO of Spieker Properties, one of the largest owners and operators of commercial real estate in the United States. “My hope is that this gift will help build a program unparalleled in the world and cement Haas as the premier business school for undergraduate degrees for generations to come.”

“This is a historic, groundbreaking investment in business education,” said Ann E. Harrison, dean of Berkeley Haas. “We are so thrilled that Ned and Carol have made a commitment to Haas to build the next generation of corporate leaders.”

In the past, students have applied to the Berkeley Haas Undergraduate Program as sophomores and enrolled as juniors. Now, prospective Berkeley students have the opportunity to apply directly to Haas and join as freshmen, giving them two additional years of deeper learning, including career development, study abroad opportunities, entrepreneurship programs, final projects, mentoring engagements, and internships. While the majority of future students will enter as freshmen, UC Berkeley students and transfers can still apply to the program as sophomores.

deliver impact

The Spiekers’ gift will be used to make an impact in five areas critical to supporting the program, including:

  • Foundation of a new scholarship program

    The new Spieker Scholars Program will attract the best and brightest undergraduate students. These students have challenged themselves academically throughout their high school experience and have demonstrated exceptional leadership through athletic and extracurricular activities, their commitment to making a positive social impact in their communities, and their curiosity about learning outside of the traditional academic setting. Spieker Scholars, selected three to four per class, receive significant financial support and opportunities for enrichment. In addition to the Spieker Scholars Program, this donation will fund an expansion of the scholarships available to students who may have financial barriers to attending UC Berkeley.
  • Building reach and support

    Outreach will be expanded to ensure high-performing students from diverse backgrounds consider Haas. A first-year academic advisor will work with admitted students and provide the knowledge and resources needed to navigate the university system. Students also have access to preparatory courses that build their fundamental knowledge around business concepts and strengthen their quantitative skills.
  • Creating a life-changing student experience

    Haas will increase staff for college and admissions counseling, mental health services and support, marketing and admissions, alumni outreach, and student orientation. These additional touchpoints will ensure undergraduate students maximize their time within the Berkeley Haas ecosystem and form deep relationships with the alumni community.
  • Provision of new course-related opportunities

    Funds will be used to support student activities such as experiential learning workshops, international research, travel opportunities, social gatherings, student conferences and competitions, and additional leadership opportunities.
  • Improving classroom technology and infrastructure

    To provide students with a state-of-the-art learning experience, classrooms at Cheit Hall, where many undergraduate students study, will be upgraded with the latest audio, video and media equipment.

A crucial role in campus planning

Ned Spieker, who is also the founder and chair of Continuing Life Communities, which operates large senior communities in California, met his wife, Carol, at UC Berkeley. Their four children are Cal grads. Carol Spieker, Trustee Emeritus of the UC Berkeley Foundation, has served on the board of directors of Filoli, a National Historic Trust property, and chair of the boards of Sacred Heart Schools.

Ned Spieker has played a critical role in Haas’ campus planning for years, convincing management of the importance of maximizing the campus footprint. Spieker served as the catalyst and champion for the construction of Haas’ newest building, Chou Hall. Spieker recently shifted his efforts to the undergraduate program.

The undergraduate program has added three multidisciplinary programs and one minor outside of the core program in recent years. The new programs include:

  • The Robinson Life Science, Business, and Entrepreneurship Program, a joint venture between the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and Haas, allows students to earn a Bachelor of Science in business administration and a Bachelor of Arts in molecular and cell biology.

  • The Global Management Program, a four-year international program that requires students to study abroad for their first semester, meet a language requirement and take specialized global business courses.

  • The Management, Entrepreneurship & Technology (MET) program, a collaboration between Haas and UC Berkeley College of Engineering, awards graduates two degrees in business and engineering over four years, with the goal of providing strong leadership and technology skills.

  • The Summer Minor in Sustainable Business and Policy, a collaboration between Haas and the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, provides students with the skills needed for careers in business or government with a focus on sustainable business and policy.

early intervention

The expanded four-year undergraduate program has also received a number of gifts from other generous supporters, which have helped bring the total raised to date to more than $45 million (including the Spieker gift). Early supporters include Janelle Grimes, BA 86 (Political Science) and Michael Grimes, BS 87 (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science). Michael Grimes, Founding Founder of the MET program, played an instrumental role in working with Berkeley Haas as the founder of the four-year undergraduate program. Additional program supporters include Steve Etter, BS 83, MBA 89; Maria and Gene Frantz, BS 88; Joanne and Jon Goldstein, BS 82; Melissa and Clif Marriott, BS 99; Adria and Brian Sheth; Roshni and Jagdeep Singh, MBA 90; and Melody and Jerry Weintraub, BS 80, MBA 88.

The Berkeley Haas Undergraduate Program was founded in 1898, the same year the Business School (then called the College of Commerce) was founded. As the second oldest business school in the United States, Berkeley Haas provides research, thought leadership and talent development to pave the way to a more inclusive and sustainable future.

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