Lyn Hunter

The Stories She Has Told

May 27, 2021

Lyn Hunter is retiring after 30 years of UC service. Her last day on the job is Friday, May 28.

She started at UC Berkeley's Public Information Office in 1991 and came to the Lab 18 years ago as the first editor of Today at Berkeley Lab, which became Elements in 2019. Hunter has had a front-row seat to many Lab stories, including Nobel prizes, VIP visitors, and new Lab directors, as well as the day-to-day articles about employees that make the Lab special.

She also used her organizational skills to plan and execute a farewell to the Bevatron and the Lab’s 75th-anniversary celebration. She was also the project manager for three Lab Open House events — 2011, 2012, and 2013 — which brought over 6,000 members of the community to the hill for an opportunity to see what we do every day.

Among the activities Hunter participated in while at the Lab was performing with a Lab rock band, The Pete Montoya Band, as lead singer, and participating in the Lab tennis club’s annual tournament.

In 30 years of editing and writing, you must have had a favorite story. What was it?

Well, certainly the most memorable one involved turkey poop. The head of our group at the time ran the hills of the Lab every morning and one day slipped on turkey poop, so they felt everyone at the Lab should be warned of this hazard via a TABL article. I remember thinking “Well, THIS is a good use of my journalism degree!” But seriously, my favorite stories were the profiles of our wonderful employees.

Can you tell us more about performing in a Lab band?

I always loved singing, but was told by our fifth grade choir teacher that I didn’t have a good voice. So I kept my singing to myself for the next 40 years. Then I saw an ad in the old Flea Market that one of the Lab bands was looking for a lead singer. Having just turned 50, figured what do I have to lose? Turns out, my voice is decent, so they hired me. We rehearsed in Bldg. 61 during lunch with the doors open, entertaining those who walked by. We performed at the Runaround, Facilities BBQs, and the Summer Concert Series.

What are you going to miss about the Lab?

I am very proud to say I worked for the Lab and often remind my friends and family what a great return they are getting for their taxpayer dollars. The work produced here is just astounding, but it couldn’t happen without our incredibly talented scientists and the people who support the Lab’s research mission. Sharing these stories with our fellow employees and members of the public has been hugely rewarding.

The Pete Montoya band. From left, postdoc Jaroslaw Syzdek on the keyboard, Tom Reese from Facilities, bass; Lyn Hunter from Strategic Communications, lead vocals; Pete Montoya from Facilities, drums; postdoc Mike Myers on the guitar.

Lyn (center) with some members of the Lab Tennis Club members at a tournament in 2018.

Lyn volunteering at a Lab-sponsored coastal restoration event in 2011.