PRESS RELEASE: Berkeley Rep’s Susan Medak to receive the 2012 Wheeler Award

August 2nd, 2012 · No Comments


Berkeley Rep’s Susan Medak  to receive the 2012 Wheeler Award

BERKELEY, CA – August 2, 2012 – The Berkeley Community Fund announced it will award the 2012 Benjamin Ide Wheeler Medal to Susan Medak, managing director of Berkeley Repertory Theatre. The prestigious award, established in 1929, honors a person who has made significant, long-term contributions to the greater Berkeley community. The Medal will be granted to Ms. Medak at the Fund’s annual awards dinner on October 11.

In announcing the award, BCF president Jessica Pers said, “Susan Medak has profoundly affected life in Berkeley since she first arrived in 1990. Berkeley Rep has become an internationally respected cultural resource under her guidance, but even more important, her creative vision, persistence, and leadership have paved the way for significant growth of cultural life in Berkeley.”

Ms. Medak’s contributions extend well beyond the theater. She was instrumental in revitalizing downtown Berkeley into a vibrant arts district with live theater, music, and arts education. She was also the founding chair of the Berkeley Arts in Education Steering Committee for the Berkeley Unified School District, founding chair of the Berkeley Cultural Trust, and is the current president of the Downtown Berkeley Association.

The Benjamin Ide Wheeler Medal, established by the Service Council of Berkeley in 1929, is named after one of the most admired presidents of the University of California.  Dr. Wheeler always thought in terms of value to human life, no matter what issue he tackled.  He led and fostered a close, supportive relationship between the campus and the community.  The Berkeley Community Fund has had the responsibility of granting the Wheeler Medal since 1994 and is proud to have honored individuals from many segments of the Berkeley community, including Alice Waters of Chez Panisse, Judge Thelton E. Henderson, Robert Cole of Cal Performances, Helen and John Meyer of Meyer Sound and most recently, radio personality and philanthropist, Narsai David.

The Berkeley Community Fund is a charitable non-profit organization founded in 1991 by a group whose love for Berkeley and for a community of hope and equity inspired them to set up a fund that would reflect their goals. BCF now provides four-year college scholarships and mentoring support for academically talented and resilient Berkeley High School students. Through generous donations from businesses and individuals, it has been able to help 62 “High Hopes Scholars” attending public and private universities and colleges throughout the country. Many are the first in their families to attend college.  In view of the ever-increasing cost of attending college, BCF’s scholarship funds bridge the gap between financial support provided by government and educational institutions and the cost of attending four-year colleges.

In addition to awarding the Wheeler Medal, the Fund will showcase its High Hopes Scholarship program at the October 11 awards ceremony and dinner. The dinner brings together a cross section of people from Berkeley and surrounding cities, dedicated to the public good, who understand the importance of sharing their good fortune with others.  Proceeds from the dinner support the scholarship program. For invitations and tickets, contact Laura Olivas, Director, at  or call .


Jessica Pers, President
Laura Olivas, Director
Berkeley Community Fund
2012 Dinner Press Release