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May 22, 2013


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Alumni Events

Sacramento Chapter Lunch – May 25

Join fellow UC Merced alumni at the Sacramento Chapter Lunch at 1 p.m. May 25 at Vallejo's Restaurant, 1100 O St., Sacramento.

Sacramento-area alumni will come together to determine the chapter's first leadership team and review the Chapter's Charter and Annual Plan. Register online. Contact Heather Buckner at 209-228-2586 for more information.

Alumni have many opportunities to reconnect with UC Merced each year through on-campus and regional events. View the events calendar.

Alumni Highlight

Sara (Zimmerman) Anastos, ’10

Sara AnastosFor Sara Anastos, one of more than four dozen proud UC Merced alumni, transitioning from a student to staff member has been a strange experience.

“As a staff member, I work behind the scenes. Most students have never heard of my department,” said Anastos, who serves as the assistant to the campus architect and associate vice chancellor for Physical Planning, Design and Construction (PPD&C).

When she came to UC Merced as a biological sciences major in 2005, the campus looked very different. The Classroom and Office Building wasn’t open yet and students attended classes in the California Room and Leo and Dottie Kolligian Library.


Go to events.ucmerced.edu to find out what’s happening on campus now.


Impact: Empowering Students to Succeed
Impact Video
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UC Merced provides unparalleled academic and staff opportunities, as well as opportunities for vendors and contractors who are helping to build the university. Check our online listings often.


Total amount of awards in April:

Total amount of awards from July 1, 2012 to April 30, 2013:



Development Plan's Amendment Endorsed by UC Board of Regents

Campus aerial view

Adding physical capacity quickly will ensure as many qualified students as possible can be admitted.


The UC Board of Regents’ Committee on Grounds and Buildings approved UC Merced's amended development plan that will allow more rapid and cost-efficient construction of campus facilities through 2020.

The amendment is a vital step in its efforts to accommodate rapid growth in enrollment, which is expected to reach 10,000 students within the next eight to 10 years. Current enrollment is 5,760.

“The approval of the amendment to our Long Range Development Plan will give us much greater flexibility in designing, building and financing excellent facilities for the next phase of growth,” said Chancellor Dorothy Leland. “With student applications hitting new records each year, we need to add physical capacity quickly and cost-effectively to ensure as many qualified students as possible can be admitted.”
[Read more]

Sending Off the Class of 2013

Class of 2013 members

Members of the Class of 2013 are ready to make their mark on the world.


This year’s conferral of degrees on May 18 and 19 marked a significant increase for UC Merced as more than 1,000 graduates participated during the campus’s eighth commencement exercises — the most degrees awarded in its history.

UC Merced was expected to bestow 957 bachelor’s degrees, 10 master’s degrees and 41 doctorate degrees compared to 641 bachelor’s degrees, 23 master’s degrees and 19 doctorate degrees in 2012.

As a result of this growth, the university held two ceremonies.

Retired NASA astronaut José M. Hernández spoke to candidates in the schools of Natural Sciences and Engineering, and award-winning author David Mas Masumoto spoke to candidates from the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts.

This year wasn’t the first time Maxine Umeh-Garcia walked across the commencement stage at UC Merced. She was part of the campus's graduating class in 2010.

View Class of 2013 videos

Generous Gift to Support College Dreams for Generations

Frederick RuizLongtime UC Merced supporters Frederick R. and Mitzie Ruiz made a generous gift to help generations of students through an endowed scholarship, named in honor of the woman who had a major impact on their lives.

The Rose R. Ruiz Endowed Scholarship and Fellowship Fund will support highly motivated undergraduate and graduate students who face obstacles such as financial difficulties, being first-generation college students and meeting California Dream Act standards.

“The Ruiz family’s generosity enables UC Merced to continue its mission of serving the underserved, and helps make higher education a possibility for all,” said Chancellor Dorothy Leland. “Their gift ensures Rosie Ruiz leaves an enduring legacy.”
[Read more]

Computer Major Looks Forward to Job at Microsoft

Andy LuhrsOn his first tour of UC Merced almost five years ago, Andy Luhrs decided the campus was the right place for him.

“The tour guide made an impression,” said Luhrs, who is from Danville. “Everyone I met had a good vibe — open and passionate about the school.”

In July, Luhrs reports to Microsoft in Redmond, Wash., as a program manager. He will work for the Windows division, but isn’t exactly sure what his responsibilities will entail yet.

Luhrs' path changed after he started as a freshman in 2009. He paused to reconsider majoring in mechanical engineering as the coursework bumped into increasingly dense math.

“I started to dread doing the math-based theoretical engineering stuff,” Luhrs said. “I found that computer science is also math-based, but not in the same way. It’s more about solving real problems.”
[Read more]

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