UC Berkeley alum Catharine Clarke Rising pays it forward with bequest to enrich Library’s collections

Rising in cap and gown
Donor Catharine Clarke Rising receiving her Ph.D., in 1987. (Photo courtesy of Darrell Clarke)

Catharine Clarke Rising cherished her peaceful, lakefront home on Clear Lake, a hundred miles north of her native Berkeley.

But the biggest downside? Not be being close to the University Library, as she once lamented in a letter, according to nephew Darrell Clarke ’75, M.B.A. ’77.   

A UC Berkeley alum, Rising earned a business degree with honors from Cal in 1950, and came back for her Ph.D. in English, which she received 37 years later, after getting a master’s from San Francisco State.

In addition to receiving her education here, Berkeley was also the place where she met her husband, Boardman “Beez” Rising ’50, a fellow student. The couple married in 1950 and lived in Palo Alto, with Beez working for Lockheed. After Beez retired, they moved to Lucerne, a small community on the northeastern edge of Clear Lake.

Upon her death, in January of last year, Rising left a generous bequest for the Library, which will help the development of the Library’s core collections.

Rising, who published works on such notable authors as Joseph Conrad and E.M. Forster, would spend countless hours at the Library, poring over volumes in the Library’s extensive collection of literature for her research.

“In her house,” Clarke says, “I found many files of photocopies of original writings and critical articles about authors that she had used in her own research and writing, that she would only have found at the University Library.”

Rising’s bequest will help ensure a new generation of scholars will benefit from the Library’s vast collections, as did she.