Both George Takei (left) and John Cho ’96 (right) played Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise, on Star Trek about 40 years apart. Takei founded the role on the original 1960s TV series, starring in three seasons and reprising the character in six movies and several video games. Cho played the highly sought-after role of Mr. Sulu in the 2009 and 2013 Star Trek films. As part of the Promise for Education campaign to raise money for University of California scholarships, Cho said he would “take a randomly selected fan that contributes at least $25 to a special lunch with George Takei and yours truly.” Find Takei on Facebook and Twitter @GeorgeTakei. Follow Cho on Twitter @JohnTheCho.
An early trailblazer in social networking, Tom Anderson ’98 (left) co-founded Myspace in 2003 and gained widespread popularity when new accounts designated him as a default “friend.” Believing that “everything got better when it was social,” Anderson remained with the company, which focuses on interaction via music and other entertainment, until 2009. Follow him on Twitter @myspacetom. A veteran of three shuttle missions, NASA astronaut Rex Walheim ’84 (right) has logged millions of sky-high miles. His expeditions to the International Space Station included the program’s final voyage in July 2011 and a handful of spacewalks. “It’s important to keep pushing our boundaries,” says Walheim, who dreamed of space travel as a boy growing up in the Bay Area.
John Scharffenberger ’73 (left) co-founded the “bean-to-bar” Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker in 1997 – fueling a national resurgence in artisan chocolate-making. He and partner Robert Steinberg were determined to highlight the true flavor of cacao and took the pioneering step of labeling their distinctive treats with the percentage of cacao they contained. Second-generation health crusader Patricia Bragg (right) produces a zesty array of organic apple cider vinegars, vinegar drinks, dressings, seasonings, and other Bragg Live Foods comestibles. Dedicated to promoting healthy lifestyles and nutritional habits, Bragg is a widely recognized consultant, motivational speaker, and self-help author.
With a string of inventions and ideas, Ashok Gadgil Ph.D. ’79 is easing hardships for millions around the globe. Hailed for his low-cost, high-impact solutions, the Berkeley professor and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientist designed a fuel-efficient cooking stove for displaced people in Darfur, and devised methods for disinfecting water and removing arsenic from it. The groundbreaking research of fellow faculty member Kirk R. Smith ’68, M.P.H. ’72, Ph.D. ’77 elucidates the pollution risks of indoor cooking with wood and other solid fuels. Smith discovered that household air pollution in developing nations is responsible for nearly two million premature deaths per year, disproportionately afflicting women and children.
With her psychedelic vibe and heartfelt lyrics, Susanna Hoffs ’80 (left) is best known as the guitarist and vocalist for The Bangles, an all-female 80s band whose hits included “Manic Monday” and “Walk Like an Egyptian.” Her website called her latest solo album Someday a “love letter to the music of 1960s.” Find Hoffs on Facebook. Like many kids, Charles Huang ’93 (right) dreamed of rocking out in front of thousands of fans. In 2005 he and his brother developed Guitar Hero, an interactive music video game in which users can simulate the concert experience while playing a guitar-shaped controller. An instant sensation, the game made a record-breaking $1 billion in North American retail sales in just 18 months.
One of the highest-ranking Latinas to have served in the White House, Maria Echaveste J.D. ’80 (left) is a former U.S. presidential advisor to Bill Clinton and deputy chief of staff under the second Clinton administration. Today she is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and a faculty member at Berkeley Law. C.J. Cregg (right) is a fictional character played by Allison Janney on the political drama “West Wing” who advances from White House press secretary to chief of staff. A National Merit Scholar, Cregg received her master’s degree in political science from Berkeley.
Dedicated to conserving America’s precious natural resources, Horace Albright 1912 (left) helped create the National Park Service in 1916 and served as its second director. Many policies he initiated, such as historic preservation, are still practiced today, and he was personally involved in creating the Zion and Grand Teton National Parks. Often considered the father of the modern environmental movement, David Brower (right) was the first executive director of the Sierra Club and fought to protect the redwoods, stop the building of dams in national parks, and gain passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964, among other crusades. He later founded Friends of the Earth and Earth Islands Institute.
More than 10 years after her death, Pauline Kael ’40 (left, 1919–2001) remains the most influential figure in film criticism today. The longtime movie reviewer for The New Yorker, she could make or break careers with her biting wit and standout opinions. The Godfather, Taxi Driver, and Carrie are among many movies she championed during the 1970s. One of America’s foremost music critics, Greil Marcus ’67, M.A. ’68 (right) has made a career of placing rock and roll within its broader political and social contexts. His 1975 book Mystery Train reminds readers of why music matters. In a 2010 review of his book on Bob Dylan, the San Francisco Chronicle wrote, “Marcus has done more to build the Dylan myth than the curmudgeonly man himself.”
Rube Goldberg (left, 1883–1970) was famous for illustrating preposterous machines that performed ridiculously simple tasks. Incorporating wheels, gears, pulleys, pails — even animals — Goldberg, who graduated in 1904, commented on both the onslaught of technology and people’s increasing dependence on it. While working in several “humiliating and low-paying jobs,” Scott Adams M.B.A. ’86 (right) created a comic strip during his off-hours starring Dilbert, a mash-up of his former coworkers. Dilbert became the satirical voice of white-collar America and is one of the most successful syndicated comic strips in history. See the daily Dilbert on Twitter @DailyDilbert.
Bettina Aptheker ’67 (left) was a prominent activist in several major historical and political events of the 1960s and ’70s, including the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley and the movement against the war in Vietnam. Joan Blades ’77 (right) co-founded MoveOn.org, which unites education, advocacy, and political action to give Americans a voice in the political process, as well as MomsRising.org, dedicated to improving maternity/paternity leave, health care, childcare, and other issues important to families.