Al Gore to Speak at Blum Center Ceremony

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Former Vice President Al Gore will visit campus Thursday to partake in the ground-breaking ceremony for the Richard C. Blum Center for Developing Economies, a multi-disciplinary program established to combat poverty.

The center will be housed in the Naval Architecture Building on the north side of the campus after it undergoes a $16 million, 16-month long renovation.

Gore was asked to speak because his efforts to educate people about the effects of global climate change were tied to the work and research being conducted by undergraduate students at the center, said campus spokesperson Marie Felde.

Gore's awareness efforts also helped him earn the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, which he shared with the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

"His work with the environment fits very closely with the work to use technology to improve energy efficiency and reduce environmental degradation that often goes hand in hand with global poverty," Felde said.

Ananya Roy, a city and regional planning professor who helped to create the global poverty and practice minor that is part of the center, said Gore's work ties into the major goals of the center.

"We encourage our students to think globally, and clearly Vice President Gore's works have had us all think about our roles as global citizens," she said.

Gore was invited by Richard C. Blum, a UC regent and the founder of the center, Felde said.

Gore will be joined by UC President Mark Yudof, UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau and Shankar Sastry, the faculty director of the center and dean of the College of Engineering.

The event will start at 1:30 p.m. Thursday outside the Naval Architecture Building.


Contact Alexandra Wilcox at

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