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The Ivy Coach Daily

October 20, 2022

Cal or UC Berkeley?

Do you refer to the University of California, Berkeley as Cal, UC Berkeley, or just Berkeley?

Do you call the University of California, Berkeley by the moniker “Cal” or “UC Berkeley”? Or maybe just “Berkeley”? How about Washington University in St. Louis? Do you call it “Wash U”? What about “WUSTL”? WUSTL is the elite school’s Twitter handle. What about the University of Pennsylvania? Do you call it Penn? UPenn? And how about the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, more commonly referred to as MIT? The fact is, there is some confusion surrounding what names to call certain elite universities in America — and some of these schools are trying to clear up the confusion.

In a piece in The San Fransisco Chronicle by Rachel Swan entitled “Cal or UC Berkeley? Brand experts contemplate a single name,” “Ask Peter Symonds where he went to college, and his answer might depend on who you are and why you’re asking. ‘If we’re at a football game, I might say I went to Cal,” said Symonds, a civil engineer who lives in Pleasant Hill. ‘But If I’m in a professional setting, I’ll say I went to UC Berkeley.’ Switching between the more colloquial ‘Cal’ and the loftier ‘UC Berkeley’ is common among alumni of the venerable public university – the first in the UC system, known for its Nobel Laureates and research laboratories, but also for its Pac-12 football team.”

Apparently, brand experts are now trying to figure out how to streamline the name of the flagship University of California public institution. We’ve never liked having to type the comma between the word California and Berkeley. It just looks weird, the University of California, Berkeley. And while we’re not on retainer by the UC flagship for marketing, might we suggest just calling the school Berkeley? Save your dollars, Berkeley! Just go by Berkeley. It’s that simple. You see, your rival, the University of California, Los Angeles, doesn’t really have the same issue because how many people write out the words University of California, Los Angeles? They just write (or say) UCLA. It’s time to just go by Berkeley.

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