Sept. 13-21, 1980: : An International Festival of the Bells, subsidized by 1928 alumnus Jerry Chambers, draws to the Campanile the world’s top carillonists, who arrive from Canada, Holland, Belgium, France, Washington, D.C. and New York City. Chancellor Ira Michael Heyman holds a banquet for them and presents each with a newly created bronze Berkeley Carillon Medal, emblazoned with the Campanile. The following year, the medal becomes the Berkeley Medal, the university’s top honor. To this day, the chancellor chooses recipients for the silver version of the medal; the University Carillonist gives out the bronze.
“Receiving the Berkeley Medal in the carillon field is the greatest honor worldwide,” says Jeff Davis, University Carillonist since July 2000 and a Berkeley Medal recipient. “There is nothing like it.”