Norwegian center opens at Cal

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Six Norwegian universities, Norway’s research council and two Norwegian business schools are pooling resources to open the new Norwegian Peder Sather Center for Advanced Studies at the University of California at Berkeley (Cal). The center is meant to provide Norwegian researchers a base for development and cooperation at what they consider one of the world’s top universities.

Crown Prince Haakon was in California last week and also visited companies in Silicon Valley. PHOTO: Kunnskapsdepartementet

The center is named for the Norwegian immigrant Peder Sæther, who earned a fortune in banking and real estate just after the Gold Rush in California. His family donated money after his death to build the famed Sather Gate at Cal and the Campanile, also known as Sather Tower, on the campus of what became the University of California at Berkeley.

More than 300 Norwegians currently study at Cal and Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon is a Cal alumnus. He studied political science at Berkeley in the late 1990s. The crown prince and two government ministers were in California last week to take part in Transatlantic Science Week, and Haakon made a trip back to the Berkeley campus.

The Peder Sather Center is now looking for a private sponsor to further fundraising efforts, which have been spearheaded by Professor Trond Petersen at Berkeley and Professor Liv Duesund at the University of Oslo.

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