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Congratulations to the Class of 2016

It was over before it ever really started. Now it's starting to start, and my love and hunger for beautiful sentences is undying. The English Major stoked the fire, strengthened it, and increased its influence and endurance. But this is not just about sentences. It's about life.

—Tom Edmondson

As an English major, I've learned that building connections requires honest effort, battles don't have to be fought alone, and allies can be found in unexpected places. I will miss my time here, and I'm truly grateful to all who have supported me. Thank you, and I hope we can meet again someday.

—Emily Kuo

During my first three semesters, my grandfather was ill; he passed away Fall 2015. Without the support from my fellow peers and professors, I'm not sure I would be at Cal. I am beyond grateful, because they allowed me to continue pursuing my dream of being a lawyer.

—Aria Guilani

My professors and fellow students both challenged and encouraged me as I learned to think creatively and craft strong arguments. The department gave me the freedom and support necessary to grow as a scholar. I enjoyed the variety of classes I took and especially loved the thesis-writing process.

—Leah Romm

During my seminar on contemporary literature, Professor Langan was trying to recall the first line of "Pride and Prejudice." Without missing a beat, more than half of the class recited that exact line. In that moment, I truly felt that the love for the written word was mutual in that room.

—Tohanh Nguyen Bui

Being an English Major at Cal was a great blessing and a fantastic privilege. To have the ability to be able to talk to Professors, get to know them, and sometimes even share coffee with them is something that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

—Brian Yu

I've been constantly in awe of my peers and mentors here, and so grateful to all of them. It's a special place, and I'll miss it.

—Sean Collins



a hearth from which the sparks wander
and to its stones
blow back at random upon the winds
to kindle the brand again that fades and flares.
    —Denise Levertov

From inspirational professors, to invaluable lessons in life and literature, to the solidarity of fellow students as we all tried to cram information into our stuffed but ever-hungry brains... Thanks for the memories; the last two years have truly been a pleasure and a privilege.

—Arrianna G. Daphne

From exploring the history of the written word, to replicating the arts of storytelling in ways that inspire empathy, to learning how words inspire action—being a student of the English language at UC Berkeley has taught me how analysis and the power of expression are tools for extraordinary impact.

—Tala Katarina Ram

It has been a daring crusade, and I am glad to say that after some time spent studying and learning, I have come out victorious along with the rest of these fantastic people I call my fellow English majors.

—Bill Mullen

Ezra Pound's "Portrait d'une Femme" inspired a series of paintings, Bruce Nugent's "Smoke, Lillies & Jade" changed the way I viewed ellipses forever, and Georg Grosz's "See, We Are All Neurasthenics!" led me all the way to Berlin to study abroad. Everything feels more poetic... thank you Berkeley.

—Brea Weinreb

I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience as an English Major at UC Berkeley. My plans for the future consist of working for a law firm as an immigration lawyer in order to help those in need and reduce the stigma many endure.

—Rebeca Alvarado

I will truly miss my time here. I have learned so much from my professors; they truly care about student success and I have so many memorable moments to look back to, be it engaging and hilarious lectures or office hours. Thank you Cal and Go Bears!

—Marielle Louise Nabaza Torres

I often joke that by studying English literature I am getting "the most useful of degrees," but the truth is I can think of nothing more valuable than the critical thinking skills I have gained as an English major.

—Allegra Thompson

Cal's English department taught me to never settle, to keep asking questions, even if I don't know the answer. I have learned to honor the complexities and diversities in each person, and that lesson I will carry with me far beyond the doors of Wheeler Hall.

—Hannah Harrington

The English major has pushed me to think deeply, reach higher, and dream often. It has taught me to question the world around me with an eye of both doubt and awe.

—Addy Bhasin

Wassim's shining moment: I had a panic attack while reading Emily Dickinson's poem 280 aloud in Professor Wagner's 130C class. This was embarrassing, but I think I really brought the poem to life. I'd definitely do it again because I got an A- in the class.

—Wassim Khemici

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Why major in English? Discover the worlds it opens. Learn about the award-winning research done by English majors. Find out how to declare the major.