From the Archives: Who Berkeley Students Admire, Then and Now



In December 1962, the Berkeley Institute Blotter asked students who they admired, with selected responses published in an article. The printed responses ranged from world leaders and diplomats to celebrities and artists. In 2022, we at the Berkeley Carroll Blotter decided to reprint the responses, along with responses from today’s Berkeley Carroll students. The major figures may have changed since the 1960s, but the values of BC students remain the same.


(1962) Wendy S., ‘63 – “Abe Lincoln – he was truthful and honest, two traits which I admire in any individual.”


Weezie W., ‘22 – “Vishen Lakhiani – I admire him because he has dedicated his whole life to making education around personal growth as accessible as possible.”


(1962) Susan D., ‘63 – “I admire Pearl S. Buck because of her deep affection and understanding for people of different races and countries, and her determination to have people understand each other.”


Adam B., ‘24 – “Michael Phelps because he achieved a level of success on the Olympic stage that was unseen and he overcame many challenges.”


(1962) Frances T., ‘63 – “I admire Albert Schweitzer because of his dedication to mankind. He has taught men how to live in our world today, and done much to improve the living conditions in uncivilized lands.”


Gray S., ‘23 – “Karl Marx – the provision of the tools for unification of the global proletariat, a lens with which to view history, and the language with which to combat fascism, domestically and abroad, under the guise of Nazism or of Marx’s own ideology.”


(1962) Susan O., ‘64 – “I admire Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Even though he had a handicap, he made a name for himself, became President of the United States, and guided us through the war.”


Michael M., ‘23 – “Jimmy Carter – made the most out of his post presidency, in a more selfless, less unethical/flashy way than the more recent presidents.”


(1962) Alice O., ‘65 – “Most of all I admire Queen Elizabeth II. In all the books I have read about her, I have been shown her devotion to her duty as a monarch and her self-discipline in enduring the tiresome duties of royalty.”


Mac F., ‘22 – “Janelle Monáe because she challenges boundaries, pushes them, makes amazing music, makes amazing points with her music, uses her platform for good, basically everything you could want in an artist (besides releasing music regularly sadly).”


(1962) Christine S., ‘67 – “One person I admire particularly is Richard Nixon. I admire him for two main reasons. First, I admire his ability and desire to be a good politician. Second, I admire his everlasting faith and courage as shown in his political career.”


Chrissy C., ‘23 – “I admire Ketanji Brown Jackson because her getting the position as Supreme Court Justice was a historic achievement after what this country has done to black people and black women.”


(1962) Karen B., ‘67 – “The person whom I admire most is Milovan Djilas, a former Communist who had a choice between following his conscience or the Communist Manifesto, and at the end chose democracy. I admire Milovan Djilas because of his great courage and devotion to the principles of freedom and honor as well as his intelligence. I believe that he is a living illustration of the durability of the human spirit.


Hein B., ‘22 – “I admire Ronaldo because he excels in so many areas besides being a soccer player. At the ripe old age of 37 he’s still arguably the greatest soccer player in the world. He’s just so professional at everything he does.”


(1962) Felice A., ‘65 – “The man I admire most is the Secretary General of the United Nations, U Thant. I admire him because of his courage in accepting the position of Secretary General, which in these times of international difficulty is such an important and difficult position.”


Lane R., ‘23 – “I admire Taylor Swift so much. I think she’s a role model, she’s a really good songwriter, such a star, and she’s had such a long and inspiring career.”


(1962) Shayne R., ‘68 – “The person whom I admire most is Edgar Allan Poe. I think some of his poems and short stories are the best I have ever read, and are filled with imagination. Although he had many hardships, such as both his parents dying in the same year when he was still quite young, he managed to achieve greatness. I admire this man for his great imagination, which he brings out wonderfully in his vivid poems and short stories.”


Alexa B., ‘24, “I admire Sonia Sotomayor for her story on how she came to be on the Supreme Court is very inspiring and the advocacy work she has done on behalf of people with diabetes and Latina women in the law.”


(1962) Susan R., ‘67 – “The person whom I admire is Charles de Gaulle. He is a man with a lot of strength. I think he has helped France a great deal.”


Joseph G., ‘22 – “Bernie Sanders – he has been striving for racial and gender equity throughout his political career, he has largely stayed strong in his beliefs, and fought with passion for social democratic values throughout his life.”


(1962) Amy M., ‘66 – “I admire Adlai Stevenson. He has kept the United States from any unnecessary and destructive arguments with other nations.”


Owen M., ’22 – “Robert Downey Jr. – I respect him a lot for his suffering through paternal abuse, drug abuse, and being able to come back and do so many amazing things, especially for kids.”


Cover photo: Dr. Albert Schweitzer