The University of California has a total of ten different campuses spread around different locations in the state. The University of California, Irvine is one of those ten locations. In the 1960s, the UC established three new campuses to accommodate the number of students enrolling across the state. Besides the veterans from World War II who had returned home and wanted to take advantage of the G. I. Bill, it seemed as though the post-war baby boom was bringing about a lot of extra students that would be looking for spots in local universities.
After 1,000 acres of land in Orange County was selected as a viable home for a campus in 1959, the University of California paid the Irvine Company $1 to purchase it and build a university. By 1964 the building was completed and President Lyndon B. Johnson was on hand to dedicate the new campus. This really does bring the university to “the people.” Instead of leaving home to move across state to be able to attend university, students of all backgrounds, cultures and interests can enroll in one of the university’s campuses near them.
Research Specialties and Memberships
The University of California, Irvine has become well-known as a center of research and development. The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, in fact, rates the university as having a “very high” level of research activity. Since 1996 the University of California, Irvine has been a member of the Association of American Universities, making it the youngest university to ever become a member.
UC Irvine Medical Center and Statewide Outreach Programs
Although the original idea was to establish a medical center on the campus, that plan was changed when the university had an opportunity to buy the Orange County Medical Center, 12 miles away. Now called the UC Irvine Medical Center, it is a teaching hospital that is administered by UCI. The university also is responsible for the UCI Arboretum, and a section of the UC Natural Reserve System. As the first of its kind in the US, the university also established the Earth System Science Department.
Athletics at UCI
The UC Irvine Anteaters are an active group of sports enthusiasts in the university, and compete statewide as well as in the nation. As members of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and the Big West Conference, they compete in 18 different sports events for men and women in the NCAA Division I. They have seen great success as 53 Anteaters have gone on to compete in the Olympics, 64 individuals have won national championships and the teams have come out as leaders in 28 national championships competing in a total of nine types of team sports.
Strengthening the Local Community
Today, the University of California, Irvine is the second biggest employer in all of Orange County, which adds $5 billion to the annual economy. Besides offering 87 undergraduate programs, 59 master’s degrees and 46 PhDs, it offers physician residency programs and coursework that can be completed through its extensions.
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