Your legacy gift makes the Berkeley dream possible.

Wheeler Society

Gift planning donors provide essential philanthropic support to Berkeley, helping Cal remain one of the world’s great universities. The Benjamin Ide Wheeler Society (or Wheeler Society) was established in 1987 to recognize and honor these visionary individuals.

The society is named for Benjamin Ide Wheeler, president of the university from 1899 to 1919. Not only did President Wheeler transform Berkeley from a small public university to one of the most distinguished centers of learning in the world, he also arranged the first life income gift to the University of California — a charitable trust from Jane Sather. Read Wheeler Society donor stories.

Membership Benefits

Anyone who includes an eligible gift to Berkeley in their estate plan and/or establishes a Life Income Gift with us is welcomed into the Wheeler Society. It is our way of recognizing the remarkable generosity of Berkeley’s most committed and loyal supporters. Benefits include:

  • Welcome video from the chancellor, thanking you for your generous planned gift
  • Welcome package and society pin from the Office of Gift Planning’s executive director
  • Wheeler Benefits Booklet: an annual coupon booklet brimming with complimentary passes and discounts to visit Berkeley’s exciting museums, exhibits, and venues
  • Annual Luncheon: an exclusive summertime event on campus featuring a distinguished faculty lecturer, a three-course luncheon, music and entertainment, and community-building with fellow Wheelers
  • Discover Cal events: complimentary admission to Berkeley’s traveling lecture series 
  • Subscription to Cal Futures, Berkeley’s semiannual gift planning newsletter
  • Updates from the Office of Gift Planning’s executive director
  • Happy Birthday wishes and a surprise gift for those turning 95, 100, and 100+
  • Annual Philanthropy Report

Stay Connected

Are you a Wheeler member and need help? Please contact Damon Paiz, your Wheeler stewardship officer, by emailing or calling 510.664.7077.

You may also schedule a meeting to speak to Damon if that is more convenient for you. Thank you for all that you do and your interest in supporting Berkeley via a planned gift. Go Wheelers, and Go Bears!

Wheeler Luncheon 2023

Annual Wheeler Society Luncheon

On July 21, we were honored to welcome more than 220 Wheeler Society members and guests back to Lower Sproul Plaza for the 36th Annual Benjamin Ide Wheeler Society Luncheon. Professor Lisa Garcia Bedolla, vice provost for graduate studies and dean of the graduate division, gave a spirited lecture entitled “Talking Politics: How We Can Transform Our Democracy.” We are grateful that so many were able to attend this year’s luncheon!

View Photo Album

View Lecture Recording

Become a Member of the Wheeler Society

If you have included Berkeley in your estate plan but have yet to be welcomed into the Benjamin Ide Wheeler Society, please contact our office. For more information, please download and read our Wheeler Society brochure.