Sen. Barbara Boxer is donating congressional papers to UC Berkeley

Senator Barbara Boxer addresses the delegates at the Democratic National Convention on July 28. Boxer announced Thursday she is donating her congressional papers to UC Berkeley.
(Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)

Retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer announced Thursday she is donating her congressional papers to UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library.

Speaking on campus, Boxer reflected on her 40-year career in elected office and the impact she believes the creation of her archives, and a newly announced lecture series, will have.

The Bancroft Library and the Institute of Governmental Studies will host the Barbara Boxer Lecture Series, an annual event that will highlight women in leadership.


To kick things off, Boxer will give the first lecture next year.

“I believe these archives and our lecture series will help highlight some of these struggles and the progress we’ve made,” she said. “And of course, we hope to inspire not only the students here at Cal, but everyone who comes to take a look at these papers or listen to these lectures.”

University of California President Janet Napolitano called Boxer a “heroine,” and said she has admired the Democratic senator, first elected to Congress in 1982 and finishing her fourth term in the Senate, for her leadership and accomplishments.

“The Boxer papers will be a lasting legacy of the senator’s leadership and I’m sure an enduring inspiration to future scholars,” Napolitano said.

Boxer was introduced by her son, Doug Boxer, a 1988 Cal graduate. He said students will be able to see the senator’s career and “study and learn from it.”

One example: her vote in opposition to the Iraq war.

“They’ll be able to go in and look and see her floor speeches and look at the papers and the correspondence,” Doug Boxer said. “And maybe someone will have the guts then to take a really hard vote when that person … studying here at Cal, goes on to be a future leader. That’s why it’s really important that this is happening here today.”

Boxer said the antiwar gesture is among her proudest votes.

“I just get emotional, because it was so lonely,” she said, after a pause. “It took a decade of struggle to bring that combat mission to an end.”


Boxer said the “honor” of her life has been public service to California citizens. “I’m so proud, so proud to be leaving my papers to UC Berkeley,” she said.

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