Sather Tower

The Sather Tower or better known by UC Berkeley students as the Campanile sits in the center of the beautiful campus and is one of the biggest attractions on campus.

Quotes from students with their opinions about the Campanile

“The Campanile was definitely an eye-catching feature of campus and in my opinion just ties the campus together.” - Sophie Medellin c/o 2023

“The Sather Tower by far has to be one of prettiest feature on campus.” - Makenzie Parajon c/o 2024

“With the many protests that go on a campus there have even been some that take place in front of the tower and it really is a unique experience to witness or be able to be apart of.” -Morgan Zamora c/o 2022

The Sather Tower was built in 1914 from the donation of Jane K. Sather wife of Peder Sather, who both were huge contributors to the founding of the UC Berkeley campus. Although Jan did marry Peder in 1882 she also made her mark as being one of the first leaders of the first professional women’s club in America [1]. Being her husband passed so soon in life and having no heir to his money she inherited all of his funds which she then used to make a financial plan that would benefit the school tremendously [2]. Mrs. Sather in honor of her husband donated $40,000 to build the Sather gates and bridge both are now big attractions on campus. The tower though was built as apart of the will of Mrs. Sather, she wanted that after her passing the building of a tower in the middle of campus [3]. She wanted this tower to be built in memory because it reminded her of times in New York standing in front of the Old Trinity church [4]. The structure though was designed by John Howard and finished in 1914 three years after the death of Mrs. Sather. Sadly she was unable to see the beautiful tower but due to her generosity now all those who step on the UC Berkeley campus can enjoy the beauty of the tower.

The tower is 307 feet tall and seats in the center of the UC Berkeley campus [5]. It is 9 feet shorter than the famous Big Ben clock in London [6] and is almost the exact replica of the campanile in St. Mark’s square in Venice, Italy [7]. Not only is the tower the best sight to look at on campus but going inside the Campanile to the top observation deck you can see gorgeous views and San Francisco city.

Being the tower is in the center of campus this has also become the meeting place for many students and has even been apart of radical movements that have taken place on the UC Berkeley campus. A famous movement that took place on campus is the Free Speech Movement. During this time many students joined this protest and there are multiple famous speeches given on the UC Berkeley campus by Mario Savio. Already in his first year at Berkeley he found the Bay Area Civil Rights Movement “amazing” [8]. He was a transfer student at the time by already in his fall semester he been engrossed into the movements taking place on campus. Mario Savio left his mark on Berkeley in a big way and people just like him continue to do so in years to follow.This is only but an example of a big protest that have taken place on the UC campus. Being also a student of the school and a now current junior I have also been witness to a student ran protest in front of the Campanile. Fall of my freshman year walking back to the dorms from my last class of the day. I took my normal route back up campus from Li Ka Shing and everyday I walk past the tower. On this particular day though a bunch of students were standing front of the tower chanting and hold signs. Though I don’t recall the exact meaning for this protest I noticed the pride and fight those students held in their eyes and voices. Being with the pandemic and this being my first semester back on campus since then I have not been able to witness anything like this by the Sather Tower again but it was an experience that I will never forget.

Overall the story of Sather Tower forms into a bigger picture of UC Berkeley making its mark in the American culture. The campus of Berkeley has served a significance to not only students and faculty but to the surrounding community. Being UC Berkeley is a public university anyone is welcomed to step foot on campus. Outsiders can learn so much about this school even from just getting glimpse. They are able to see not only the beauty of the buildings and structures on campus but also the pride students take in their studying. UC Berkeley has created a place for students to be unafraid to voice their opinions and to fight for their beliefs. Even from people who have an outside view of the school this known due to their being constant activism on all different spots of campus. UC Berkeley not only is making its mark on American culture by being the #1 public university but also empowering students to want to make a change in their communities and the world we live in.


Agbayani, A., 2022. Recalling the events of Freshman Year. p.a single paper.

Cohen, Robert. The Essential Mario Savio: Speeches and Writings That Changed America. 1st ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014.

Epstein, S., 2022. Women Who Built the Berkeley Campus: a Virtual Tour | 150 Years of Women at Berkeley. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 9 May 2022].

DAVID FERRELL. “SURROUNDINGS / BERKELEY; Towering Over the Traditions of UC Berkeley; Cal’s Beloved Campanile Clock and Bell Tower Has Long Been the Defining Sound and Image of the Campus: HOME EDITION.” The Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Calif: Los Angeles Times Communications LLC, 2002.

Medellin, S., 2022. Opinion on the Campanile. [email].

Parajon, M., 2022. Opinion on the Campanile. [email].

Sveen, Karin. The Immigrant and the University : Peder Sather and Gold Rush California. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014. Accessed May 9, 2022. ProQuest Ebook Central.

Zamora, M., 2022. Opinion on the Campanile. [email].


  1. Sveen, “The Immigrant and the University : Peder Sather and Gold Rush California,” 242.






  7. Sveen, “The Immigrant and the University : Peder Sather and Gold Rush California,” 21.

  8. Cohen, “The Essential Mario Savio,” 72.


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