Victory Cannon to Get New Platform

July 23, 2004

BERKELEY - The California Victory Cannon, which has celebrated Cal scoring plays from Charter Hill above Memorial Stadium for more than 30 years, will receive a new platform in time for this fall's football season.

Construction on the earthenware terrace began earlier this week to replace the existing wooden platform. The improvement, which will include a masonry retaining wall to create a flat earth terrace, is the culmination of a yearlong fundraising effort by the student-led California Rally Committee. As the student group responsible for the maintenance and firing of the cannon, the Rally Committee, in concert with Intercollegiate Athletics, initiated a 'Save the Cannon' campaign during the 2003 football season.

Architect Keith Long generously donated his services to create the new design that more appropriately reflects the tradition and history of the cannon. The new terrace will include stone-like masonry, black railings, a natural earth trail and simple decorative blue and gold flags, all contributing to the theme and imagery of this unique Cal tradition. In addition to the design improvements, the new work will be made of all non-combustible materials, vandal resistant and code compliant.

Built with funds primarily from private donors, the new terrace will be completed well in advance of Cal's first home game this season - Sept. 11 vs. New Mexico State.

Donated by the Class of 1964, the California Victory Cannon first appeared on the field in Memorial Stadium at the 1963 Big Game and was fired to celebrate Golden Bear scoring plays. After a several year absence from football games due to safety concerns, the cannon re-appeared on Charter Hill for the 1972 Big Game. Affectionately known to many as 'Tightwad Hill,' the Charter Hill location has become the traditional site for the Victory Cannon, above the northeast rim of Memorial Stadium, on Saturday afternoons in the fall.

Rally Committee plans to continue its traditional involvement and has donated its assistance with the actual construction of the new terrace. Other student groups, such as the Associated Students of the University of California, are also expected to generously donate their physical support for the project

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